The Death with Dignity Bill 2016 in South Australia was defeated at 4.12am 17.11.2016. As the final vote was tied at 23-23 the Speaker, Hon Atkinson, had a casting vote & he is strongly opposed to VE so voted against.
To quote from a brief report from SAVES: The many hours of debate were marred by general obstructionism – nitpicking, also fear mongering. There were excellent supporting speeches as well.
The Bill did make history in South Australian, as it was voted into the Committee Stage where is is discussed clause by clause. This vote passed 27 to 19. Essentially this meant that the principle of an assisted death choice was accepted by the Lower House of the South Australian Parliament.
Some of the quotes from MPs opposing compassionate choice in this restrictive Bill are quite revealing….. Here are some of those I describe as “pearls of wisdom”!! Taken from Hansard.
Knoll – the reason this bill can never be good enough is that it is not about safeguards within the bill that is the issue, it is the actions of families, it is the actions of the medical profession, it is the actions or inactions of government that, in circumstances, will herd people towards this choice.
Pengilly – I have been hounded by members of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society in my own area, absolutely hounded. If that did anything, it hardened my resolve to stand up in this place and put on the record my objection to this legislation and the fact that even if this does not get through, it will come up again and again.
– I am absolutely fed up to the back teeth with having euthanasia legislation rammed down my throat on a seemingly endless basis.
– I sincerely hope that, in due course, when the vote does come, members in this place do not support moving past the second reading and that we get on with the important business in this place.
Atkinson – Those who want AVE say they want personal autonomy in the manner of their death, yet they require the state to create and fund a vocation whose job it will be to terminate life.
Tarzia – I cannot support a bill that would potentially allow suicide to become a business. From my reading, that is what has happened in countries like Switzerland, and that is not right.
– Putting moral beliefs aside, and putting what the electorate wants aside, I believe it is plainly obvious that the practicalities also have to be considered. I do not believe we should pass this bill, which impairs the inalienable right to life.
Rankine – independent assessment by two doctors, and I can tell you from bitter experience it can simply be a ‘tick and flick’ exercise.
Williams – I am not convinced that we need to bring in specific legislation at this point in the history of our species to cure something which we have lived and died with forever.
– I am concerned about what might happen in 20 or 30 years if we open this gate. If we apply our minds to the worst outcome of state-sanctioned killing it is certainly not beyond my imagination to see great evil emanate from this measure—great evil.
– I believe that the most vulnerable people in our society would be put under greater threat by this measure,
– We have a fantastic medical profession dedicated to supporting our health and wellbeing. What sort of message would we be sending to the medical fraternity if we suggested to them that there is a quick and easy way out of every problem that walks through their door?
– Life is to be endured, unfortunately.
Piccolo – Palliative care workers believe that by improving the quality of, and access to, palliative care, there will be no need for voluntary euthanasia
Speirs – Death is inevitable and suffering on earth is inevitable.
– palliative care should be able to comfort people when they are in significant pain and adding voluntary euthanasia into the mix negates the need to invest in palliative care, there is no doubt at all about that.
– Belgium and the Netherlands are specific examples of that, where children can now be euthanased. There is no getting away from that; I am not scaremongering by saying that children can be euthanased in Holland and Belgium.
– I do get sick of people saying that 80 per cent of South Australians or 80 per cent of Australians support voluntary euthanasia. ……….when you have informed discussion about this through focus groups and processes like the citizens juries that are often advocated by the Premier, that sort of informed decision-making, this support falls away. It falls away dramatically and ends up below 50 per cent, and the research shows that is the case. (I would like to see details of this ‘research’)
Koutsantonis – Again, after 19 years, my vote will be no. I know that within my electorate this [voluntary euthanasia] is overwhelmingly popular. Everywhere I go, when people talk to me about this issue, the same thing is said to me by my constituents, ‘We want you to support legalised euthanasia.’
Ms Vlahos – Do we want to have a society where life is valued or do we start pulling back the tide and allowing, bite by bite, people to start disappearing from this place, this state, and not protecting them when they are frail and vulnerable?
Kenyon – there is no bill that I would vote for because I have a fundamental opposition to euthanasia. It is partly informed by my faith—I have never been afraid to admit that—but not perhaps in the way people would expect. It is more in the way my faith informs my view of human nature.
– I do not believe that the state should be involved in the killing of its citizens
– let’s not kid ourselves, from time to time people will do the wrong thing—that is when safeguards break down. If safeguards break down often enough, they become a norm, they become an accepted way of doing things, and they have completely and totally failed.
– I will not be doing anything to help make it easier for anyone to vote for this bill because I think the concept of euthanasia is fundamentally flawed.
I can find others….. but this is a representative sample!!!!