Saturday, March 21, 2015

New Euthanasia Bill in Tasmania

This article was published on the HOPE Australia website on March 20.

Paul Russell and
Alex Schadenberg
in Tasmania.
By Paul Russell, the director of HOPE Australia.

The Tasmanian MPs who tabled and pushed the last Euthanasia bill defeated in 2013, have said that they will try again later this year.

The then Premier, Lara Giddings MP and her then deputy, Nick McKim MP, now on the opposition benches made the announcement in The Examiner Newspaper on the 14th of March.

But bringing the issue to a vote in this new bill will not be as easy as it was when the then Premier and her Deputy were in control of the parliamentary debate from the treasury benches.

Moreover, whereas the vote in 2013 was resolved by 13 votes to 11, a cursory look at the chamber post the 2014 election suggests that the numbers are at least at that level if not more strongly against.

When Giddings and McKim had the privilege of office behind them, a faux discussion paper arising out of the Premier's Office and full control of the timing of the debate, they still could not find a majority on the chamber.

It is always possible that votes change and we must ever be vigilant, but I cannot help but observe that this seems more like grandstanding than it does about anything else.

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