Jan 19, 2017

Death with Dignity: South Australia euthanasia bill defeated by one vote

The Bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia in South Australia has been overturned by a single vote.

Members of Parliament began a marathon debate on Wednesday, November 16 with the vote for the Death with Dignity Bill being finally held at around 4am.

The MPs were given a conscience vote and were evenly divided at 23 in support and 23 opposed. This left the deciding vote to Speaker Michael Atkinson. Atkinson, from Labor’s hard right, ultimately voted against the bill.

This was the 15th attempt made to push the South Australian Parliament to change the law, and the closest it has got to being passed.

Legalising voluntary euthanasia is a topic that has been long debated. It has the potential to change so many lives by putting them or their loved ones in control of their own lived and letting them die with dignity.

On October 9, Kylie Monaghan lost her battle with terminal cancer. She was a voluntary euthanasia advocate and face of the Be the Bill campaign. She spent the last few months of her life hoping to see a change in the South Australian laws despite knowing that they would not help her personally.

She passed away before this recent bill was overturned, and would have undoubtedly been disappointed in the results. There are still many who are hoping to see it change happen.

Should the bill be proposed for a 16th time, then maybe Monaghan’s dying wish to help others will be finally granted.

In the meantime pressure to legislate voluntary euthanasia is shifting to Victoria, as they await a response to an Inquiry into the ‘End of Life Choices’ Report that was proposed in June this year.

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