Why I voted yes to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 – Member for Armadale Tony Buti
I am supportive of legalising Voluntary Assisted Dying – an issue that intersects morality, ethics, religious belief and political and legal theory.
Currently in most cases the state permits terminally ill individuals of sound mind the right to refuse lifesaving treatment.
But the state does not allow that same patient to take drugs that would end their life.
The state generally permits passive euthanasia but not active euthanasia or voluntary assisted dying.
By allowing certain individuals to end their lives by refusing lifesaving treatment, a commitment to neutrality means that the law should allow them to end their lives by administering drugs as well.
Otherwise we are privileging one conception of the good life over another.
Why is one way a better or superior way to die than the other, especially when voluntary assisted dying may cause less physical suffering than its passive counterpart?
However, while supportive of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill before Parliament I remain concerned that the Bill does not prohibit a medical practitioner from initiating discussion on voluntary assisted dying, as is the situation in Victoria.
People are influenced by what their doctor says and the power in balance between doctor and patient, particularly one with a terminal illness, can be great, no more so than for those with disabilities, sick elderly people and some Aboriginal people.