Why I voted no to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 – Member for Darling Range Alyssa Hayden
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 is one of the most important and challenging pieces of legislation that will ever be debated by the current members of the WA Parliament.
I have heard and respected the views of many people on both sides of the debate and while I understand the appeal of voluntary assisted dying, I have grave concerns about it.
The legislation won’t prevent older, vulnerable patients from being intimidated or coerced into choosing to die.
Sadly, elder abuse happens frequently with reports showing 75,000 older Western Australians are at risk.
I am equally disturbed that voluntary assisted dying has been placed ahead of improving palliative care.
Palliative care provides significant benefits, particularly when accessed early and yet about 60 per cent of Western Australians are unable to access or are unaware of the services that are available to them.
In WA we only have 15 full-time palliative care services and have the lowest number of publicly funded beds per capita in Australia.
Legislation to combat elder abuse and action to address the gaps in palliative care should have been in place well before the introduction of voluntary assisted dying.
I believe Western Australian’s are looking for conviction and strength from their elected Members of Parliament.
We are note solely elected on the party we represent.
More and more our principles and convictions are asked of us and judged.
In the lead up to my election, I made it clear that I did not support voluntary assisted dying and I will stand by my convictions and the commitments I made to my community.
It takes only one life to be lost in error, as a result of abuse, in extreme discomfort or one attempt to fail, to void any attempt to safeguard this legislation.