Petition to amend the End of Life Choice Bill

 

This petition was presented to Parliament on 25 September 2019, since MP Chris Penk proposed amendment SOP 381 in response to our petition to be debated that day. Unfortunately the debate was cut short and Parliament voted against this amendment without even debating it.

Additional signatures were collected until the third reading, Parliament’s final debate on the Bill.  Thanks very much to everyone who signed and helped to give others the opportunity.

Petition to the House of Representatives (Parliament)

 

Please amend the End of Life Choice Bill to provide disabled people and others the choice to receive services only from health professionals who don’t engage in ‘assisted dying’*

If such an amendment were to be absent from the final version of the Bill, please vote against this Bill at its Third Reading.

 

‘Assisted dying’ means administering a lethal dose with the intention of hastening a person’s death, or giving a person a lethal dose to self-administer

 

Explanation:

David Seymour claims that it’s possible to provide both choice to those who want ‘assisted dying’* and at the same time, protection for those who want nothing to do with it.

But we think that the End of Life Choice Bill, as currently amended, would not protect disabled people who want nothing to do with ‘assisted dying’ at that time.

This Bill’s eligibility criteria are all about disability. A terminally ill person would be eligible only if they also have “an irreversible decline in physical capability” – that is, a disability.

To provide euthanasia or assisted suicide, a health professional would have to agree with a person that their life is not worth living. It’s then very easy for the same health professional to judge the lives of other people with disabilities as not worth living either. Such judgements may influence the health professional’s clinical decisions and the quality of care they would give us and our loved ones.

Those of us with disabilities are particularly at risk of having judgements made about the quality and dignity of our lives. We often hear comments from the able-bodied majority such as, “I would rather be dead than be like you,” or that it is undignified to need assistance with daily living. Many of us have been ignored, patronised, excluded, neglected or abused by able-bodied people.

We want the option for ourselves, our loved ones, and disabled people in general, to receive services only from doctors and nurses who have not engaged in any part of an ‘assisted dying’* process under this Bill. We put more trust in such health professionals.