Voluntary Euthanasia Bill in Tasmania Negatived

Monday 21 October 2013 @ 12.37 p.m. | Legal Research

As previously reported by TimeBase, The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013 was tabled in the Tasmanian parliament on 26 September 2013, allowing terminally ill patients to end their lives within 10 days of making a request to a doctor.

There has been much debate in the Legislative Assembly regarding the components of the bill and it has been finally negatived as of 17 October 2013. It was was defeated in the Tasmanian Parliament by 13 votes to 11.

Mr Wightman, the Attorney-General, thanked Mr McKim and Ms Giddings for the compassionate way they went about trying to convince him to vote for the legislation.

"I find myself voting against an individual's choice, which on the majority of occasions I promote and champion...The sponsors of this bill should be congratulated for their courage -- they are politicians and that is their job...It is my considered view that there is not a politician that can come into this House and say that the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013 protects all vulnerable people in all situations.''

Labor MP Michael Polley stood down from his role as Speaker to ensure his "no" vote was recorded in the final count. Brian Wightman and Brenton Best also voted against the Bill.

The Liberal Party all opposed the Bill, but some spoke of their personal struggle in coming to terms with the issue.

Ms Giddings expressed disappointment at the end of the night at the narrow defeat of the legislation. She said the issue of assisted dying would not go away.

"Achieving major social change is always an incremental process...No one should be made to live with insufferable pain...There is no intellectual or ethical reason why, in the 21st century, a person should experience a death that is full of suffering and agony."

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products.


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