Sign now to thank MPs who opposed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation

Contact your Members of the Victorian Legislative Council (Upper House) now and ask them to oppose The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (2017)

 

Sign now to thank MPs who opposed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation

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Sign now to thank MPs who opposed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation

Last week the Labour government led by Premier Daniel Andrews passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 in the Legislative Assembly (Lower House). The bill which has the potential to radically change health care and impact all Victorians includes provision for a person to be prescribed drugs to take their own life if they are terminally ill and expected to die within 12 months. Opponents of the bill worked tirelessly during a marathon Parliament sitting to dissuade the passage of the legislation. Despite this, the Premier and his Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, gave the legislation their full support believing it was ‘too perfect’ to even consider any amendments.  

The debate in the Legislative Assembly last over four days, culminating in a final session that began at 9.30am on Thursday morning and ran through to after 11am Friday morning when a conscience vote was called. The Bill passed to applause, 47 votes to 37.

The Premier speaking to media after the vote, said it was a “proud moment” and “an example of government at its best”. In reality, what we saw was a government determined to push‒perhaps one of the most significant pieces of legislation seen in Parliament‒through quickly and at whatever cost. It is disgraceful that such monumental piece of legislation was driven on for over 25 hours, despite calls for a recess, when no person could be expected to be fresh and clear-headed to engage in such a significant debate.

Despite attempts from opponents of the Bill to suggest amendments to ensure that the legislation would not be able to facilitate the killing of individuals whom it does not specifically intend to kill, the government forged ahead to the vote. Liberal MP for Box Hill Mr Robert Clark led many of the hundreds of amendments that highlighted concerns including that the laws might be abused by rogue doctors, that there were not enough safeguards in place to protect vulnerable people from coercion, and that the lethal medication which will be used to cause death is still yet to be decided on.

Many other courageous MPs spoke in opposition to the legislation representing the concerns of thousands of their constituents.  A full list of members who voted against the legislation is listed below. Please join this petition now to send a message of thanks to those members who worked tirelessly last week and in the weeks prior to attempt to stop the passing of this Bill.

The Bill will now be presented in the Legislative Council (Upper house) where members will begin debating. There are 40 seats in the Upper house, therefore a vote of 21 is required for the legislation to pass. It is expected that the vote will be close and therefore it is still very important to take time to contact your local Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) to ask them not to support the legislation.

It appears that that fate of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 is in the hands now of a few of the MLC who have expressed particular concerns over the lack of willingness of the government to consider any amendments to the legislation.

Significant concerns have also been voiced by a number of former Prime Ministers in recent days in relation to the legislation. Mr Paul Keating called the Lower House vote a “truly sad moment for the whole country” and said he hoped the Upper House would “beat this deeply regressive legislation”.

“What this means is that the civic guidance provided by the State, in our second largest state, is voided when it comes to the protection of our most valuable asset,” Keating said.

Former Prime Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd also expressed his concerns about the introduction of Euthanasia. "… if you changed the laws in this area, I do become concerned about the way in which these things can drift over time," he said.

"Particularly in the attitude taken by older people themselves, or people with terminal illnesses, who then conclude that they are being an increasing burden to their families and then conclude that it's in other people's interests, not their own best interests, to seek euthanasia."

The current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said he would not stand in the way of the Victorian parliament despite holding reservations about the proposed law.

Call to Action:

1. Please take a few minutes to either visit your local Members of the Legislative Council (Upper House) (5 representatives) or call their office asking them not to support the legislation. A list of Members contacts is provided on the links below. The Members have been divided into local regions. 

2. Please sign this petition now to thank members of the Lower House for their work. We will send your signature and comments to these members below.

List of members (Lower House) who opposed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 :

  • Mr Angus
  • Mr Battin
  • Mr Blackwood
  • Ms Blandthorn
  • Mr Bull (Gippsland East)
  • Mr Burgess
  • Mr Carbines
  • Mr Clark
  • Mr Dixon
  • Ms Fyffe
  • Mr Gridley
  • Mr Guy
  • Mr Crisp
  • Mr Katos
  • Mr Hodgett
  • Ms Kairouz
  • Mr McCurdy
  • Ms McLeish
  • Mr Merlino
  • Mr Northe
  • Mr O’Brien (Gippsland South)
  • Mr O’Brien (Malvern)
  • Mr Pesutto
  • Mr Richardson
  • Mr Riordan
  • Ms Ryall
  • Ms Ryan
  • Mr Smith (Kew)
  • Mr Smith (Warrandyte)
  • Mr Southwick
  • Ms Suleyman
  • Mr Thompson (Sandringham)
  • Mr Tilley
  • Mr Wakeling
  • Mr Walsh
  • Mr Watt
  • Mr Wells

Related Information:

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Euthanasia and assisted suicide represent the abandonment of those who are in greatest need of our care and support

To Member of Legislative Assembly: 

I would like to express my gratitude for voting against the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (2017). I appreciate the hard work that you and your colleagues have undertaken in attempting to overturn this legislation.  I ask for your continued efforts to highlight your concerns with your Legislative Council colleagues as we head into the debate in the Upper House. 

I believe that euthanasia and assisted suicide are not in the best interests of the community and that their introduction will have wide-reaching ramifications such as changing the nature of healthcare and the trusted doctor-patient relationship. No 'safeguards' will ever guarantee that deaths under the proposed legislation will be completely voluntary. There will always be a risk of error, fraud or coercion, even in the medical field. 

I strongly believe that euthanasia and assisted suicide represent the abandonment of those who are in greatest need of our care and support in our community. We can do much better. 

I support efforts for greater palliative care supports and education that will ensure those individuals facing the end of their lives can collaborate with their medical professionals in relation to the course of their illness and treatment to gain some sense of control during this difficult time. Individuals should be given opportunities to control aspects of the dying experience such as whether they wish to die in a hospital setting or at home. Families and loved ones should also be provided with support and information to ensure that they can know how best to assist the individual at the end of life. 

Thanks again for your hard work and continued efforts to protect all Victorians. 

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Sign now to thank MPs who opposed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation

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926 people have signed. Help us reach 1,000 signatures.