Ethical Rights

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Euthanasia Conclusion

1. Enactment of the Bill will overturn the Euthanasia Laws Act. The Bill will allow legalised voluntary euthanasia in the Northern Territory, and the possibility of legalised voluntary euthanasia in the ACT and Norfolk Island.

2. I have provided substantial arguments in favour of voluntary euthanasia and in support of the desirability of the enactment of Bill. The Euthanasia Laws Act is undemocratic, violates an individual’s basic rights, discriminates unfairly against people living in territories, is inappropriate in a multicultural society, runs contrary to popular opinion, is economically unsound, and is inhumane. I also countered what I consider will be the major objections to the enactment of the Bill, based on the tenor of earlier voluntary euthanasia debates. On the arguments presented, the Bill should be supported and the Euthanasia Laws Act repealed.

3. If the Bill were overturned, it would have a deleterious effect upon those terminally ill patients who would like to have the option of voluntary euthanasia. Enactment of the Bill might only affect a small minority of the population: terminally ill patients in the territories who satisfy specific criteria and for whom palliative care is not appropriate. However, those opposed to voluntary euthanasia must not be able, by legislative fiat, to deny voluntary euthanasia to those who want it. The Bill provides hope for the reinstatement of individual liberty in Australia.

4. The arguments I have presented stand on their own if they are considered with an open mind, devoid as far as possible of any cultural, religious or other bias. If they are, I am confident that the Inquiry will recommend that the Rights of the Terminally Ill (Euthanasia Laws Repeal) Bill 2008 be enacted. The Bill is to be commended.



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