The debate in the Tasmanian House of Assembly has just concluded. A torrid few days resulted in the Tasmanian euthanasia bill being defeated 13 to 11.
It is with a very deep sense of relief that I confirm that the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013 has been defeated!
The vote was extremely close: 13:11 and negatived by one vote.
Tasmania would have become the first Australian state to allow assisted suicide had the bill passed its two houses.
The other side ran a strong campaign and stayed on message throughout - even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.
For now, we can share some relief and perhaps even celebration. But please spare a thought for those who supported the bill because of difficult personal circumstances who will now, no doubt, be disappointed and dejected. Our opposition are people too and they deserve the dignity and respect that we seek and demand for the vulnerable and for all in our society.
We can be glad, we should be happy at this outcome, but we should not gloat nor ridicule. Personally, I feel deeply for their loss on this occasion as I know some supporters personally and I have no doubt that they will be deeply disappointed at this time.
REALdignitytas was an essential part of the successful campaign. REALdignitytas is a group of academics and leaders in Tasmania who effectively lobbied politicians.
There have been some great lessons in this debate that need to be digested.
Paul Russell will be speaking at the Euthanasia Symposium 2013 on November 8/9 in Toronto.
Link to other similar articles:
Nitschke's frank admission on Tasmanian radio.
Tasmanian euthanasia bill: "A Recipe for Abuse".
Disability rights group opposes Tasmania euthanasia bill.