The voluntary euthanasia debate is back in the spotlight and promises to be a hot-button issue over the coming weeks with the Voluntary Euthanasia Party (VEP) announcing candidates for Election 2016.
VEP announced its decision to present six Senate candidates in three states for the upcoming election. The candidates are Shayne Higson and Janise Ferrell for NSW; David Scanlon and Miranda Jones for Victoria and Jessica Knight and Kym Buckley for South Australia.
After watching her own mother die painfully from brain cancer, Shayne Higson felt it was time that Australians had the right to make their own life or death decisions.
“It is our strong belief that dying with dignity should be a basic human right,” said Ms Higson. “The VEP regards voluntary euthanasia as involving a request by a terminally or incurably ill person for medical assistance to end his or her life painlessly and peacefully. We need to keep pushing the national debate towards the legalisation of voluntary assisted dying.”
Surveys, such as the ABC’s Vote Compass, show that up to 85 per cent of Australians agree that terminally ill patients should have the right to legally end their own lives.
Voluntary euthanasia is legal in countries such as Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as in the US states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and California. Canada is also looking to pass similar laws next week.
Over the past thirty years, around 50 euthanasia bills have been put before the Australian Parliament. The advent of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party may bring this issue further into the spotlight, potentially making it an influential topic with which major parties may need to contend.
Would you vote for a party that promoted voluntary euthanasia? Would you like to have the right to choose to die with dignity? Have you had personal experience with a loved one who may have benefitted from such a law?
Read more at the Morning Bulletin