Monday, August 5, 2019

Euthanasia bill to be fast tracked in Western Australia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

I would like to comment on the language of the Western Australia (WA) euthanasia bill. 

The WA government has indicated that it will fast track the euthanasia bill through parliament, yet no one outside of the government, has seen the bill. It appears that the WA Labor government is intending to push the euthanasia bill through parliament without a free and full debate.

Hon Nick Goiran
Nick Goiran, the long standing Liberal MP, who opposes euthanasia and promotes palliative care, commented in an interview with Nathan Hondras, for WA Today. Goiran stated:

"the information about when the government ordered the bill to be written should be non-controversial."
"When did Cabinet agree to drafting instructions?" 
"Why would that possibly be controversial and not able to be disclosed, unless, the cynic in me says well, actually, that's because it was done before the ministerial expert panel handed down its report.
Hondras interviewed opposition Health Critic, Zak Kirkup who stated:
the draft euthanasia laws deserve as much scrutiny as possible from supporters, opponents and MPs who had yet to decide on the issue. 
"Regardless of whether a member does or doesn't support VAD [voluntary assisted dying], this is a significant piece of legislation and deserves an according level of scrutiny,"
"It's obviously something that matters to a great deal to many Western Australians and you'd want to make sure that we all have as much opportunity to have a look at it, which is why I find it interesting that the government hasn't come out with a draft bill or or hasn't gone through the process of a green bill or an exposure bill."
The WA Labor government are urging the Liberals not to filibuster the euthanasia bill. For the sake of democracy I hope that they filibuster the bill to ensure a full debate.

Euthanasia bills concern life and death and they always contain problematic language designed to protect physicians who are willing to kill their patients. People have a right to examine the legislation and lobby their elected representatives.

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