Fantastic news Australia.. the New South Wales Parliament finally passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 on Thursday 19th May 2022. Voluntary Assisted Dying is now legal in NSW, the culmination of 50 years of advocacy.
6 down 2 to go!
- Australian Capital Territory
- Northern Territory
Federal law from the 1990’s prevents the ACT and Northern Territory from passing their own law. This means more than 600,000 Territorians are being treated differently to the majority of other Australians.
Why are the Territories blocked from passing their own Voluntary Assisted Dying laws?
Back in 1995, the Northern Territory was actually the first place in the world to pass an assisted dying law. It was called the Rights of the Terminally Ill (ROTI) Act and gave terminally ill people who were suffering intolerably the right to seek medical assistance to die.
However, the historic law was only in operation for nine months before a federal politician (Kevin Andrews – Howard Government ) successfully campaigned to have it overturned in 1997.
Not only was the Northern Territory’s law repealed, but a gag order was also imposed on both the NT and ACT to stop them from ever debating or introducing future assisted dying laws. This unjust federal law still blocks the Territories today – despite 6 Australian states having passed laws.
It has made the more than 600,000 people living in the NT and ACT second-class citizens in their own country.
What can we do to restore Territory rights for Voluntary Assisted Dying?
To restore Territory rights, we need to get this federal law repealed.
If we manage that, then the Territories will have the right to decide for themselves on the issue of Voluntary Assisted Dying.
They can choose whether to follow in the footsteps of Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland in passing compassionate voluntary assisted dying laws.
With New South Wales likely to pass a law in 2022, the Territories cannot be left behind.
HOW TO HELP
How to get this discriminatory law repealed so the Territories can join the rest of Australia in giving dying people a choice?
Federal law prohibits both the ACT and NT from passing VAD laws. To change this, please add your name to our Record of Support (gogentleaustralia.org.au).
Your support will show federal politicians we won’t rest until all Australians have access to VAD. Click here to add your name today.