Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch launched emotional arguments in favour of euthanasia, describing the relief it would have given to their families.
The senators were speaking during a debate on a private member’s bill that would cut federal interference with laws in the territories on assisted suicide, The Daily Telegraph reported.
“She weighed about 30 kilos, and looked like a Biafran refugee,” Hinch revealed of his mother’s appearance as she suffered from lung cancer 26 years ago. Hinch himself has fought liver cancer.
Hanson, meanwhile, spoke of watching the impact on her father of Parkinson’s disease, The Daily Telegraph wrote.
“We have more compassion for animals than we do for people,” Hanson said, adding that euthanasia opponents had never watched a family member lose the ability to care for themselves.
The private member’s bill would allow the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory legislative powers to bring in assisted suicide and repeal the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 that prevents them from doing so.
The Restoring Territory Rights (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2016 was brought by Greens leader Richard Di Natale. Announcing the bill in August, Di Natale said: “”Dying with dignity is a social justice issue, it’s a human rights issue, it’s a public health issue and it should not be pushed to the political margins.”
Hinch and Hanson have been vocal in their support for euthanasia for some time.
Hanson’s One Nation party has a policy advocating euthanasia, that proposes any person of voting age be permitted to have a document written up that appoints two people as executors who could carry out that person’s wish for assisted suicide should they be unable to take action themselves.
“I and only I, will determine when my time is up and if I am not in a position to do so, then loved ones of my choosing will,” Hanson has written of the policy.
Hinch has argued in the past that the right to decide on one’s time of death was robbing older Australians of their dignity.
“Being deprived of the legal right to decide that their quality of life has deteriorated to such an extent that they want to say goodbye,” he has written of the current laws.