By Tosca Lloyd, in the Sydney Morning Herald
This week, Victorian MPs will consider legislation that will accord a small number of people the choice to limit intolerable and untreatable suffering in the final weeks or months of their life. And this is key: the only people who would be able to access this choice are those for whom death is an immediate and inevitable reality. This is not about life and death, but simply a choice between two ways of dying.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 is in fact incredibly restrictive – the most conservative in the world – and aims to strike a balance between upholding the wishes of the individual, and ensuring their decisions are voluntary and informed. The safeguards then are not there to restrict autonomy over one’s own life, but to ensure it. It is a point that has been forgotten by many in this debate.