The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has backed a national campaign appealing for politicians to support voluntary euthanasia laws.
Television and radio personality Andrew Denton launched the Be the Bill campaign at South Australia’s Parliament House. It's aimed at encouraging politicians to exercise their conscience vote in favour of voluntary euthanasia.
Legislation is before SA Parliament; MPs will vote next month on whether to take the Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2016 through to debate.
ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said nurses – many of whom are lobbying for a law with strong checks and balances – witness more than anyone else the damage, harm and trauma that is taking place in the absence of this legislation.
“We are seeking voluntary euthanasia laws that are completely voluntary, help people who face a terrible, lingering death, have strong checks and balances, and have doctors and nursing professionals at the centre of the process,” Thomas said. “A compassionate community should afford people the choice of a peaceful death when there are no other options available."
The Be the Bill campaign is headed by 35-year-old Port Pirie woman Kylie Monaghan, who has advanced cancer that has spread to her liver and bones.
Monaghan said she wants politicians to know they won't be debating a bill about someone who doesn't exist, rather her life and her choices. To drive her point home, Monaghan will put her name in the bill, replacing the neutral legal word 'person'.
Now, campaigners are asking voluntary euthanasia supporters to create their own personalised version of the bill, which will be sent to the 69 South Australian MPs as a symbol of support.
Denton, who is a director of Go Gentle Australia, said: “Our first priority is to get voluntary euthanasia legislation properly debated in parliament, so that we can establish a compassionate law with strong safeguards that will help people like Kylie, who are suffering.”
Click below to watch a Go Gentle Australia campaign video featuring Australian nurses.Do you have an idea for a story?
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