DWDACT’s submission to the ACT End of Life Committee has now been published on our website. In May I spoke to the committee as an expert witness representing not only the current members but also the many members who began the organization in the nineteen eighties as a branch of VESNSW as well as those who actively worked for reform during their lives and have died since, without seeing the law change.
A Bulletin with the focus on the Australian Capital Territory’s Legislative Assembly is calling for submissions to a Select Committee on End of Life Choices
This is the first year since 1997 that we have been able to say that we have had some genuine success in reforming the law to give assistance to die.
In my last Bulletin I was optimistic that we might have a legal breakthrough via The Australian constitution which states that the Commonwealth may not make law imposing religious observances.
Today I received some good news from Kirsty Easdale who has been liaising between barristers Greg Barns and John B. Lawrence SC on behalf of DWDACT:
I heard from Greg Barnes today. Both barristers are willing to accept the brief. I will be able to prepare a brief early next week. I will send through some draft observations for your review prior to them being sent to the barristers.
It is now ten years since I joined what was then called the ACT branch of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of NSW. I joined at a crisis point for the organization because there was a strong possibility that it would fold. It was revived with a new committee. I am the only person still on the committee from that time. We have had a continuous turnover of people primarily due to health problems. One implication of this is that it is very easy for governments to ignore us because we are old, we are sick, we have sick relatives we look after and we don’t have consistent energy to argue our case