Assisted dying will be debated in parliament this year, now, politicians want to hear your opinion

THE CONTROVERSIAL issue of a person’s right to end their own life will be debated in parliament later this year.

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 would allow terminally ill people to receive medical assistance to end their lives.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is calling on community members to have their say on the proposal.

I’ve had some personal experience with a loved one...

MP Adam Marshall.

“I’ve had some personal experience with a loved one and it’s an issue that, when I debate it in parliament, I want to do with the views of everyone in the electorate in mind,” he said.

“Unless you’ve been in a situation where you’ve had a loved one with a terminal illness and you’ve had to watch them slowly waste away, it’s often more agonising for the loved ones than it is for the individual themselves – although that is absolutely horrific.

“I hope it will spark a conversation, we have to treat people’s views on this respectfully.”

The Bill will allow terminally ill people over the age of 25 to be assisted by medical practitioners and other people to administer a fatal substance to themselves.

The patient must be suffering from an illness that in reasonable medical judgement, is likely to result in death within 12 months.

Medical practitioners can refuse to administer the life-ending drug.

Mr Marshall said the Bill was one of the few cases where politicians across the spectrum had contributed to drafting legislation.

“They’ve done it because everyone wants to talk about the issues and get it right,” he said.

“Rather than turn this into a political, or dare I say religious – which politics often is, football that gets kicked around while the poor families that are suffering or people with terminal illnesses continue to deal with what they deal with.”

The survey can be found on Mr Marshall’s website.


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