Last year was an extremely busy year for Go Gentle Australia, but it was worth it. The passing of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Law in Victoria was historic – however the fight is not over yet. Already the opposition has indicated it will overturn the bill, should it win the November 2018 elections.
Defending Victoria’s hard-won law is just one of the many challenges ahead of Go Gentle in 2018.
The good news is that there is a growing call for legislation around the country.
In August 2017 the Western Australian Government put in place a Joint Select Committee to conduct an inquiry on End of Life Choice. This has closed for public submissions and has received over 700, many of which contain the usual misinformation and fear-mongering that was heard in Victoria. It is now in the phase of public hearings and is aiming to report in August this year.
The government in the ACT appointed a Select Committee on End of Life Choices in November 2017. Public submissions close on 23 March 2018. While this is good news, unfortunately the ACT does not have the power to actually implement such legalisation. However, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner have joined forces with the Northern Territory just a few days ago to prioritise the removal of the Bill that prevents
the two territories from considering voluntary assisted dying reforms.