Parliament to debate euthanasia law next week

It’s a topic that brings out fierce supporters on both sides: should people have the right to end their life?

It’s a topic that brings out fierce supporters on both sides: should people have the right to end their life?

It’s topic that will debated in state parliaments around the country next week, with advocates saying Victoria and South Australia have the best chance of passing the law.

Euthanasia was briefly made legal 20 years ago before being axed by the federal government. Those who are for the law say everyone deserves the right to die when and how they choose, while those against say there are too many ethical issues that could arise out of it.

Media personality Andrew Denton has thrown his weight behind the cause, saying no Australian should die in “lingering and untreatable pain”.

“Australians overwhelmingly support a compassionate law, with strong safeguards, that will help those most in need at the end of their life,” he said.

“The cost to our society without a law — in elderly suicides alone — is unacceptable and needs to be addressed.”

Recent polls have found that the majority of Australians support euthanasia, prompting many to question why the government hasn’t made it legal yet.

Adding to the ‘yes’ argument are statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that show in 2014 men and women over the age of 85 killed themselves at a rate of 37.6 for every 100,000 ­people, the country’s highest rate and much higher for people in their early 40s and early 50s, 29.9 and 29.2 respectively.

So are those figures alone enough to prove that euthanasia should be made legal, or are the ethical concerns around this topic to big?

Share your thoughts below.

  1. It should be legal. There are too many people living with debilitating illness and pain and in my opinion should have the right to end their life on their terms.

  2. Ian  

    Ethical? my life is my game if i decide that i dont want to make doctors rich and medicare poor and my days of being able to carry on arent pretty, i want out with dignity ,not laying in a bed drugged not knowing anyone somone wiping my butt and washing me no thanks pumping morhine move on vote yes

  3. Margaret Hawkins  

    Yes. They treat sick animals better – they are euthenised to stop their suffering . Why shouldn’t humans be allowed to make a choice of wether they want to live with suffering and comotose not knowing what is going on around. Your family suffers more to see loved ones in such a condition. It is a decision that should not be made lightly and a doctor should be consulted definitely . I vote yes.

  4. Yes it most definitely should be legal. I watched my father endure so much pain and distress the last six months of his life. He died this May. I would never have let an animal go through that! Why should a human being be left without the right to stop such distress? I believe that two doctors should be called upon to give their joint agreement that nothing else can be done. It’s not a matter of faith or conscience- it’s a matter of release. I hope that those states considering this look at it objectively.

  5. Janemarie  

    This is a bigger controversial subject than the plebiscite! Euthanasia should be legal for all terminally ill people. End of story.

    • I strongly agree with you! This is so much more important than what goes on in the homes of couples who love each other.

  6. Sue  

    I agree, if you are terminal and there is nothing medical science/doctors can do. But, my question would be regarding life insurance, would this be classed as suicide? If so, then insurance companys would not pay out.

  7. Susan Bell  

    my mother wants to die. she started starving herself and taking only clear fluids. Her body is stronger than her mind. She has lived two months in hell. She wants to die now. All of her family know this and support her. Her life is confined to bed, her brilliant mind is being addled by morphine, which also gives her terrifying lucid dreams. We have done all the talking we need to do. She leaves behind a good record of study and kindness, she wants to die now, she has asked me to help.

  8. Gaye McGrath  

    Legal, YES. Family would be able to offer support and comfort in the case of an aged parent wanting to get off the pain merry-go-round. Why should someone suffering be made to feel guilty for wanting to end their suffering? Allow them the dignity and show the respect of hearing their desperate cry for help when all else is lost!

  9. I believe that it’s time to allow people and their families to be able to choose to have the right to die. My concern is who will do it? As a young nurse at 25 yo, I would have assisted freely thinking that if it was a choice, I could help. Today at 67yo, I’m glad I don’t have assisted death on my soul, I believe it would have destroyed my integrity. However in saying that, I could help my family, my husband, my children, my mother or very dear and close friends. As an act of loving compassion and respecting their choice, I would willingly wear the stain on my soul.

    • David  

      My whole heart agrees: “an act of loving compassion”

  10. Nellie  

    My husband had Motor Neurone Disease…..Of course Euthanasia should be legal….Are we a humane, civilized nation or aren’t we? Same with all these ethical questions …a minority with their own warped religious views dominate the freedom of ordinary people….

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