South Australia to revisit euthanasia issue

Opposition frontbencher Kyam Maher hopes to introduce a bill in 2020 (Bigstock)

Legalising voluntary euthanasia will be investigated by a South Australian parliamentary committee, after a vote in 2016 to allow it was narrowly defeated. Source: The Advertiser.

Opposition frontbencher Kyam Maher said the traumatic death of his mother led him to mount the latest push to allow assisted suicide, which will be supported by both the SA Best and the Greens.

Mr Maher said he hoped the committee would report back by November, allowing him to introduce voluntary euthanasia laws in 2020.

He told State Parliament the death of his mother, Viv, to pancreatic cancer in 2017 after choosing to end medical intervention inspired his resolve to have euthanasia laws passed in South Australia.

“She was then forced to slowly waste away, drifting in and out of consciousness, often in half-awake states of panic … It was absolutely painful to see,” Mr Maher said. “A week after my Mum’s funeral I spoke at a (South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society) event and told the (association) of my recent experience and commitment to ensure people like my mother are able to have control at the end of their lives.”

He said it was ideal to hold a parliamentary inquiry now because voluntary euthanasia laws were soon set to be debated in Western Australia and would be legal in Victoria by June.

“The select committee will examine those other jurisdictions and how their schemes work,” Mr Maher said. “I think most people, regardless of their views on this issue, recognise the inevitability of laws passing in this area eventually, and I reckon that now might just be the time to do so.”

In 2016, a bill by former members of parliament Steph Key and Duncan McFetridge was defeated 24 votes to 23 in the Lower House.


SA parliamentary committee to investigate legalising voluntary euthanasia (The Advertiser

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