Media release – 6 March 2017
Today is the last scheduled day for oral submissions on the Petition on Hon Maryan Street and 8,975 others on “assisted dying”.
According to Parliament’s website, 88 submitters are booked to speak today, including at least 16 from overseas. Of these, 67 (76%) are opposed to the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia, 17 (19%) are supportive of a law change, and 4 (5%) have not communicated a clear stance in their written submissions.
Today’s distribution of views is part of a consistent pattern.
The record 21,435 unique written submissions communicated a majority opposition to changing the law. According to a random analysis, 78% (about 16,700) of written submissions are opposed, and only 22% (about 4,700) are in favour of changing the law.
Today’s noteworthy submitters include:
- Australian Judi Taylor whose depressed but otherwise healthy son died by suicide with the help of EXIT, the organisation at the centre of the recent police checkpoint controversy.
- Professor Theo Boer, a former member of a Dutch Regional Euthanasia Review Commission who changed his mind on euthanasia after reviewing more than 4000 cases.
- Belgian professor and oncologist Dr Benoit Beuselinck who wrote that, “The law on euthanasia has made our daily lives as oncologists more difficult than before.” He also mentioned that palliative care staff are leaving the profession because they don’t want to be involved in euthanasia.
- Dr Kevin Yuill, the author of “Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case against Legalization” who was interviewed in New Zealand in 2015.
The oral hearings will be held at Parliament House from 10 am to 4 pm and are open to the public.