A cross-party group of NSW MPs is set to release draft copy of its proposed assisted dying legislation for public discussion. The legislation will be voted on in the NSW Parliament and I will be voting in support the legislation.
I am of the strong belief that this legislation is long-overdue. What I want to see is a person with a terminal illness, who is experiencing pain and distress, having the right to request assistance from a medical practitioner to end their life with dignity.
I understand that this is a conscious vote for members of the Labor Party and that means not everyone will share my views or follow traditional party lines. However, I wanted the community that I represent know how I will be voting on this issue should it proceed to the Legislative Assembly later this year.
Over the past few years I have reviewed detailed material on this matter and heard from families across the electorate who have experienced watching a loved one die from a terminal illness with no options available to them.
Like many others I have also watched someone who I was very close to have to endure years of pain, discomfort and suffering in the last stage of life and I think we as a society can and should do better than that in relation to this issue.
By ensuring we have the correct safeguards in place and that a person’s individual situation is carefully assessed we can proceed down a path that enables someone to seek assistance to end ongoing pain and suffering.
We have made significant advancements in medical technology and care and that means that people are now living longer than ever before. But we also need to make sure that this technology and advancement is used to allow a person dignity in their final stages of life.