Last Thursday, the Tasmanian lower house rejected a bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia in the state.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, co-sponsored by Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim, was defeated 13 votes to 11.
Labor House of Assembly Members Michael Polley, Brian Wightman and Brenton Best joined the ten Liberals and voted against the legislation.
This is a great win for the dignity of human life, given the campaigning of euthanasia supporters in the week leading up to the debate, particularly on the part of right-to-die advocate Philip Nitschke.Last month the Prime Minister Tony Abbott was asked about the legislation
and said he would prefer to keep to the status quo. He acknowledged the current practice between doctors and patients where pain relief is often administered which may, as a secondary effect, shorten life. This is not euthanasia because there is no intention to kill – its firstly focused on the comfort, symptom management and pain relief of the patient. Euthanasia and assisted suicide is the deliberate killing of someone by action or omission.
The Tasmanian government should be focussed on improving palliative care services.
Thank you to all of you who've been working, praying, and corresponding with MPs over this important issue. Your dedication to and support of the most vulnerable in our society does not go unnoticed.
If you're a Tasmanian resident, please take a few minutes to send a quick email to the MPs who opposed the legislation to thank them for their stand against this potentially dangerous bill.
For many years, parliaments across Australia have repeatedly rejected legalised voluntary euthanasia - South Australia in 2009, 2010 and 2012, Victoria in 2008, and Western Australian in 2010.
The last time euthanasia was debated in the Tasmanian Parliament was in 2009 when Greens MP Nick McKim’s Dying with Dignity Bill was resoundingly rejected 15 votes to 7.
ACL ran a 'Make a Stand' campaign
against the legislation in the lead up to its debate.