In a surprising move, the lower house of Victorian Parliament has just passed legislation to allow voluntary assisted dying in Victoria.
The announcement has come following an all-night debate which saw an array of opinions on the controversial issue exchanged. As the public debate surrounding voluntary assisted dying has heated up, prominent Australian politicians such as Paul Keating have come forward in opposition to the bill. Keating noted in an op-ed that “in both practical and moral terms, it is misleading to think allowing people to terminate their life is without consequence for the entire society.”
There are many who believe that allowing euthanasia laws to pass in Australia constitutes playing God. However, the counter point to that argument is that by prolonging the inevitable and not allowing people to pass peacefully when it is their best interests to do so, we are placing human beings in dehumanising, degrading and unnecessary pain.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews ended his speech to parliament on the night with five words he received in an email from a constitute – “please be bold and kind.”
The majority of Labor MPs backed bill, along with two Greens, two independents and a handful of Coalition MPs. The next phase will see the bill go to the Upper H0use for debate, which will occur in a fortnight. If successful, the bill will allow terminally ill people over the age of 18 in severe pain with only a year to live to access lethal drugs to cease their lives.