ACT Senator Katy Gallagher says she has faith the Barr Government will handle voluntary euthanasia legislation in the Territory appropriately as a “mature, responsible” Parliament. Source: The Australian.
Last week, the ACT Government unveiled a community consultation report to help shape legislation to be introduced by the end of the year. ACT Human Rights Minister Tara Cheyne confirmed the Government was considering allowing children as young as 14 to access voluntary assisted dying.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP called the ACT Government a “radical government” that he didn’t trust to enforce safeguards around assisted suicide. He also questioned why 14-year-olds were considered too young to drive and vote but mature enough to “make a life-and-death decision”.
Senator Gallagher, who is also the federal Finance Minister, said debate about a proposal to open voluntary assisted dying to teenagers as young as 14 being considered by the ACT Government should be left to the Legislative Assembly.
“I stopped speculating what the assembly does when I left the assembly,” she said.
“The job for the Commonwealth Government was to remove the restrictions on the Territory government being able to consider these matters, but these are matters that are resolved at the Territory level.
“They are a mature Parliament, they undertake wide consultation with their communities.”
Senator Gallagher, who is a former Chief Minister of the ACT, said the matter was not for her to discuss publicly as the decision would fall to the ACT Legislative Assembly.
“As an ACT constituent myself, I’ll watch that debate, but these are matters that are resolved by a democratically elected parliament,” she said.
“I have no doubt as a mature Parliament, as a responsible Parliament, they will undertake appropriate consultation and then finalise their position, and then it’s a matter for the assembly to determine.
Gallagher has faith in ACT’s assisted dying laws (By Rhiannon Down, The Australian)
ACT teen euthanasia plan triggers warning from Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher: ‘voluntary assisted dying on demand’ (By Rhiannon Down, The Australian)