Australia's two biggest states are due to debate assisted dying laws in October and November.
In New South Wales, a cross-party working group spent two years consulting a range of key stakeholder organisations and took the best parts of similar legislation across the world to draft the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017. In May they released a Public Consultation Draft and after further amendments, the Bill is to be introduced into the NSW Upper House on 21st September.
In Victoria, the process has also been impeccable. Following a 10-month Parliamentary Inquiry Into End Of Life Choices, the most comprehensive of its kind ever held in Australia, the cross-party committee tabled its report one year ago, which included a recommendation to introduce voluntary assisted dying legislation. In December last year, the Premier, Daniel Andrews, and his health minister, Jill Hennessy, announced they would follow that recommendation and they appointed a Ministerial Advisory Panel to draft their legislation led by former AMA President, Professor Brian Owler. Victoria's assisted dying bill is due to be introduced on Wednesday 20th September with the debate due in October.
How you can help.
The best thing that you can do to help the voluntary assisted dying bills to pass through the NSW and Victorian Parliaments is to contact your local state MP.
Hand-written letters are best, or call their electoral office, or even try to arrange a face-to-face meeting. Explain why you would like them to support the upcoming assisted dying bill, and include a personal experience, if you have one. Try to be respectful. We know our members are passionate about the need for law reform, however, this is still a difficult issue for some members of parliament to face.
The Dying With Dignity websites in your state will have more detailed advice on letter writing and they also provide MP's contact details.
For NSW's Dying With Dignity go to - https://dwdnsw.org.au/
For Victoria's Dying With Dignity go to - https://www.dwdv.org.au/