While there are many important issues that form part of Policies, or lack of Policies, in this Federal Election, restoring the Right of the Territories to make their own Voluntary Assisted Dying laws is surely one issue to be addressed, especially now that 5 Australian states now have a VAD law.
In view of this, I contacted each of the Federal Lower House candidates for Whitlam, where I am located in NSW, and the lead Senate candidates for every Party listed for NSW, asking if they would support a VAD law for the Territories, overturning of what is known as the ‘Andrews Bill’ at the time of the Howard Government, that took away the Right of the Territories to enact such a law..
Some of the responses were very thoughtful and supportive, and yet in so many other cases, I received no reply at all.
Here is a table summarizing the responses >
|Labor||Yes for Whitlam||Stephen Jones, Labor MP for Whitlam, has personally indicated his support for a VAD law to Ian Wood.
No reply from Senate candidates for Labor
|Coalition||No response from Liberal or National Party Senate candidates|
|Greens||Yes||Have a long standing policy of support for VAD laws.|
|United Australia||Yes||Allan Wode. United Australia Party candidate for Whitlam, stated – In regards to states and territories having the ability to pass VAD law, I do support this due to most have already made up their mind to do so. Based on the ability people have when they are at this stage of life, most cannot do anything about it so they live on in agony until the end.
In saying that as with anything there needs to be clear and irrefutable evidence of being terminally ill and enduring suffering they find unbearable. Without clear guidelines on VAD laws it could be misconstrued as a way out for those that cannot help themselves out of depression or other illness to not be a contributor of society.
Support by United Australia Party Senate candidates is unknown.
|Great Australia||No reply|
|Reason||Yes||Jane Caro, Reason Party lead Senate candidate, strong support for a VAD law. Very understandable as the Reason Party in NSW was formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Party.|
|Animal Justice||Yes||No reply but have supported VAD laws previously|
|Liberal Democrats||No reply from Michael Wheeler, candidate for Whitlam, nor from their Senate candidates|
|Indigenous-Aboriginal||No reply, contact email bounced!|
|Socialist Alliance||No reply|
|Australian Democrats||No reply|
|Australian Values||Yes||Stated – Per our Health Policy, we believe that such [VAD} laws should be standardised at the Federal Layer of Government. We have had enough of the States having different laws for the health and welfare of Australian Citizens.
We are also pro-choice for people to make their own health decisions.
|Citizens||Yes||Kingsley Liu, Citizens Party Senate Candidate stated – Yes. – they support restoring the Right for the Territories to have a VAD law, and a VAD law for NSW|
|Fusion||Yes||Andrea Leong Fusion Party Senate candidate stated- Voluntary assisted dying is an important aspect of the principle of self-ownership. Support for voluntary assisted dying is not a statement of any kind on the value of life, it is merely respect for the right of persons to make decisions on these matters for themselves in the light of their individual circumstances. While safeguards are necessary, all people should be allowed to live and end their lives with dignity and peace. Bans on voluntary assisted dying create a legacy of suffering and a shattering loss of dignity and autonomy.|
|Medical Options||No reply|
|Federal ICAC||No reply|
|Sustainable Australia||Yes||Late response. Sustainable Australia Party candidates do generally support states and territories making their own decisions on this issue and do generally support VAD laws.|
|One Nation||No||No reply, but have previously indicated One Nation do not support a VAD law.|
|Legalise Cannabis||No reply|
|Seniors United||No reply|
|SFFP||No reply re Federal Election. However for NSW Parliament we have this curious situation where the Shooters. Fishers and Farmer in HA support VAD and the Upper House MPs oppose!|
Regardless of who ends up in Government, I sincerely hope that this Right of the Territories to make their VAD law can be restored. It is inequitable, discriminatory and inhumane that the ACT and the NT are currently excluded. We are still hoping that by the date of the Federal Election on May 19, NSW may have become the final state to pass their Voluntary Assisted Dying law.
Thank you for reading this.
Ian Wood, Spokesperson, Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying. Australia