The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill for the terminally ill has passed the NSW Parliament.
Today is not a victory for politicians, but a victory for people who deserve a choice. It's dedicated to those who died waiting for this reform.
My full media statement is below, but I want to thank my colleague Alex Greenwich
for steering this reform through the Parliament, Adam Searle MLC
for steering it through the upper house, and to our staff Tammie Nardone and Jason Gordon who have worked tirelessly on this reform.
Thank you also to the many thousands of people who have supported this campaign in Lake Macquarie.
FULL MEDIA STATEMENT HERE:
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill has today been passed by the NSW Parliament.
“This has been a very long campaign over many years by many people,” Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper said.
“This bill is not about politicians, but about people with a terminal illness who are dying particularly bad deaths.
“This historic piece of legislation will finally deliver a choice to those people.
“This is about their journey. This is about their wish and their choice. This is about providing those people with an option in their final days and providing the opportunity to die with dignity on their own terms when their suffering is no longer bearable.
“Sadly, no matter how good palliative care is, there are times where it cannot relieve the suffering of some, indeed, too many, in their final days of a terminal illness. This legislation and its supporters want more investment in palliative care options.
“I know there are people who oppose this bill, predominantly on religious grounds, and I thank them too for the respectful debate we’ve had.
“What I can assure everyone is that this bill has robust safeguards against abuse and allows for the conscientious objection of doctors, nurses and even faith-based aged care organisations - although the latter cannot deny a resident access to VAD services from outside providers. It’s a voluntary option at every stage for all involved.
“I must firstly thank my friend and colleague the Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich who has led the charge on this Bill in the Parliament.
“I also thank our staff who worked tirelessly to ensure all concerns were properly dealt with. Dying with Dignity NSW, Andrew Denton and Go Gentle Australia have been unwavering and stoic through what could otherwise have been a debilitating campaign.
“The bill’s co-sponsors have been determined to see this through and deliver an option for persons facing an inarguable and certain poor death without the option of Voluntary Assisted Dying.
“And to that point, I mostly want to thank the very brave people who have stood up and told their stories in the media and to the parliamentary inquiry. To those people, and the families, partners and friends of those we lost along the way, thank you.”