On Tuesday 15 September, the Tasmanian Upper House commenced debate on the Mike Gaffney’s assisted suicide Bill.
But your urgent action today could save vulnerable Tasmanian lives.
The Bill promotes hopelessness and fear. It allows people to be assisted to suicide if they are afraid of what may happen to them in the future.
The Bill does not provide any proper safeguards and is easily one of most loosely drafted Bills on this issue, in the world. It encourages, not merely facilitates, assisted suicide.
The Eligibility Criteria exposes these fatal flaws:
- Relevant medical condition: There is no time limit as to when death is expected to be caused. A 20-year prognosis may be sufficient. It therefore applies to non-terminal conditions.
- Decision-making capacity: A person who is unable to speak or write can access assisted suicide -by using gestures! -this is ripe for abuse.
- Suffering Intolerably: There need not be present suffering but the anticipation of suffering because of the condition treatment or complications A person may access assisted suicide only because of what they fear may happen in the future.
- Ineligible if only suffering from a mental illness or mental disability: Mentally ill or disabled people can access assisted suicide if they have another condition as well, without the need for a psychiatrist’s opinion.
- Authorised medical practitioners: Doctors who will give consent for the prescription of the poisons to end life need not be skilled in the particular condition, does not need to be the person’s treating medical practitioner or have any psychiatric qualifications.
- Time from start to final request: Minimum total of 96 hours from first to final request compared with Vic & WA, 9 days. Tasmania will have the shortest time.
You can use these thoughts when contacting MPs.
Take action today
Using the form below, please write an urgent letter to your local MPs – it will only take a couple of minutes. Be concise and respectful.
The salutation at the start and your name at the end will both be appended automatically. Please don't add these to the letter below, eg please do not address the email “Dear MP's name”.
When you complete your name and address in the box below, your letter will be directed to your Legislative Council MLC and your five Legislative Assembly MPs.
Thank you for standing up for the most vulnerable in our society.