Bill rejected in spite of intense consultation process

Greens MLC Dr Mehreen Faruqi
Greens MLC Dr Mehreen Faruqi

Co-sponsor of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017, Greens MLC Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has added her voice to the widely felt disappointment about last week’s defeat of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017.

Dr Faruqi was also a member of the NSW Parliamentary Working Group on Assisted Dying.

All five Greens Members of the Legislative Council voted in support of the bill, but it was ultimately defeated 19 to 20. 

Dr Faruqi said:

“It is deeply disappointing that the NSW Legislative Council has failed to pass Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation despite the overwhelming number of people in the community asking us to do so. Yet again, this parliament has shown how out of touch the majority of MPs are.

“The vote was very close and we will continue the campaign.  I urge supporters of the right to die with dignity to contact the politicians who voted against the bill and demand they explain why. We need hold them accountable at the ballot box in 2019.

“We see voluntary assisted dying frameworks operating effectively in many places overseas including parts of the United States and Europe. There was no reason why NSW couldn’t have followed in their footsteps.

"Conversations about life and death are never easy, but they have to be had and I am honoured to be part of the movement of people who have been having these difficult conversations in the community and in the parliament.

“I believe it is cruel and inhumane to force a person to suffer when nothing can be done to relieve their pain and when the person wants to end their life.

“This has been a very broad, genuine and intense consultation process, so it is disappointing to see politicians make weak excuses to not support voluntary assisted dying.

“For two years, our cross party group have been working on this bill. We have released exposure drafts, taken submissions, held forums across the state. We have received feedback, taken it on board and revised the bill many times.”