Media Release

Small but Significant Win for the Value of Every Life

Advocates for life are grateful that Labor backbencher Marisa Paterson will not be putting forward her proposed amendments to expand the ACT’s new voluntary assisted dying (VAD) scheme – which is set to come into effect on November, 2025. 

The amendments, which the Australian Christian Lobby’s (ACL) National Director of Politics Wendy Francis wrote about here, would have allowed people to access euthanasia after losing decision-making capacity through an appointed VAD attorney. 

As Wendy stated, VAD attorneys would have “effectively remove(d) vulnerable patients’ ability to change their minds towards the end of the VAD process”, something which has not been introduced in any other Australian State or Territory. 

After soliciting community feedback, Paterson explained there was insufficient time to address potential issues arising from the amendments.  

When ACT/NSW State Director for ACL, Joshua Rowe, appeared before the Select Committee on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2023, he voiced the ACL’s concerns on what had been dubbed the most “ideological and extreme” VAD scheme in the country by ACT Opposition.  

Paterson’s decision to drop her radical amendments is a positive one, as the ACL advocates strongly for government bodies and opposition parties to commit to “holding the line” and/or repealing VAD laws across Australia. 

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