Not willing to accept the rejection of a euthanasia bill a little over a year ago, members of the South Australian Labor Party have indicated it would be back on the agenda should it win the March 17 election.
State-sanctioned assisted suicide laws have been rejected 15 times in South Australia as consecutive parliaments have appreciated the inherent failings that result in deliberately allowing people to end their life.
Yet, after Parliament last voted to deny assisted-suicide and protect the vulnerable in December 2016, South Australian premier Jay Weatherill said he was ‘gutted'.
Unfortunately, in the wake of the euthanasia laws passing in Victoria, SA Government Minister Kyam Maher vowed to push again for government-sanctioned assisted suicide after the March election.
If the Labor Party is slow in pushing for this radical legislation, it will be pushed all the way by the Greens who have already committed to introducing euthanasia laws post-election.
Liberal leader Steven Marshall has also personally supported for euthanasia.
Disappointingly, the vigor that is being applied to making it easier for people to end their life has resulted in a vacuous palliative care strategy in South Australia.
In calling for $24.5 million in additional funding, Palliative Care South Australia states: “Significant palliative care supply constraints, regional inequalities in access and insufficient investment in palliative care are contributing to significant unmet need among South Australians.”
SA Best, who are contesting the election for the first time have agreed on the need for improvements to palliative care and committed to this level of funding.
Unknown, however, is SA Best’s policy on euthanasia, with an SA Best candidate responding to an ACL questionnaire that it had no party policy as yet.
So is there a political party who takes a definitive stance against assisted-suicide and euthanasia?
There is. At least one party, the Australian Conservatives has a clear pro-palliative care and no state-sanctioned suicide policy.
Heading into this state election, the ACL encourages everyone who values life - especially the lives of those more vulnerable - to investigate the position of their candidates and parties who want to represent them in the State Parliament.
You can begin by visiting the ACL’s dedicated election page - savotes.org.au.