Thursday, 20 January 2011

Euthanasia Bill set for defeat?

And some positive news for a change - the ACT Government's lobbying efforts in favour of the Federal Euthanasia Bill seem to have failed, according to the The Canberra Times:

A Senate bid to allow terminally ill Canberrans the right to die is doomed to defeat, the ACT Government says.[Good news!]

The attempt to remove barriers to euthanasia legislation, due to be debated in Federal Parliament next month, looks set to run foul of pro-life senators and MPs from both sides of politics.

Letters from federal Members of Parliament and senators to Chief Minister Jon Stanhope show that the ACT has failed to convince federal parliamentarians the vote is about territory rights and not euthanasia.[That might be because the Bill is only about - euthanasia?!]

The majority of MPs and senators, who responded to a plea by Mr Stanhope to separate the two issues, gave the Chief Minister the cold shoulder, writing that they saw the vote, on a private member's Bill introduced by Greens leader Bob Brown, as a debate about the right to die.

Mr Brown's Bill would repeal legislation brought by Howard government minister Kevin Andrews in 1997, in response to euthanasia laws enacted by the Northern Territory, with the Andrews laws expressly forbidding territories from legislating for voluntary euthanasia.

Mr Stanhope wrote to all senators and MPs in November urging them to separate the territory's rights issue from euthanasia, but he has conceded, after responses from dozens of parliamentarians, that his plea had mostly fallen on deaf ears."

Let's hope the numbers fall the way this article suggests...

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