The Voluntary Euthanasia Party (VEP) was created to facilitate new legislation to provide the compassion, dignity and choice that current legislation is denying terminally and incurably ill Australians.
For decades the majority of Australians have believed that people who are suffering intolerably from a terminal or advanced stage of an incurable illness should have the legal right to request and obtain medical assistance to end their lives peacefully and with dignity.
Over four in five Australians are in favour of voluntary assisted dying law reform.
The VEP aims to improve all aspects of end-of-life care and ensure dignity in the final years of life.
Our policies include:
The legalisation of voluntary assisted dying
The Voluntary Euthanasia Party (VEP) supports the formation of cross-party working groups in state or federal Parliaments to draft legislation for Voluntary Assisted Dying Bills to be introduced across Australia.
We support the provision of medical procedures for the painless, assisted death of patients with a terminal or incurable illness, who are enduring intolerable suffering and who have expressed a desire for the procedures within appropriate legal safeguards. We believe that these individuals deserve the right to make informed choices about the time and manner of their death through appropriate and humane medical assistance.
The legislation would apply only to people with a terminal or incurable illness who make the choice to use it and would include all the necessary safeguards, such as:
- the person is at least 18 years of age;
- the person is an Australian resident;
- the person is of sound mind and the decision to end his or her life has been made freely, voluntarily and after due consideration; and
- two medical practitioners have confirmed that the person has an eligible medical condition.
Improving the status of Advance Care Directives (ACD’s)
We will work to ensure that ACD's are legally enforceable and that hospital staff are trained in both the procedures and legal standing of ACD's. We aim to have ACD's registered on a statewide database to ensure ease of access for medical staff.
Improving palliative care
We will work to ensure palliative care facilities are fully funded, that staff are effectively trained and that innovative, modern and recognised treatments are made available. The proportion of Australia’s population over 65 has increased from 11.5% to 14.4% 1. in the ten years since 2003 and, as the baby boomer generation ages, this will grow. Palliative care funding needs to keep pace with our ageing population.
1. Australian Bureau Statistics June 2014
Improving access to medicinal cannabis
In line with our purpose to provide compassionate care and choice for dying individuals and those suffering from incurable illness, the VEP supports better access to medicinal cannabis. A recent report on the ABC's 7:30 program explains the need for easier access to medicinal cannabis as a father risks jail to help his daughters who both suffer from Crohn’s disease. It is heart-wrenching.
Even though it has supposedly been legal since 2016 less than 500 people have been able to access medicinal cannabis legally.
The Voluntary Euthanasia Party (VEP) is a moderate, progressive party and its policies reflect this stance.
If elected, VEP Members of Parliament will consider each and every piece of legislation presented by any other party on a case-by-case basis after proper consultation and information gathering. We will look at all legislation with a balanced, common sense and compassionate view. We will vote according to the evidence and in the best interest of our members and constituents.