ACT moves one step closer to euthanasia regime

The Australian Capital Territory is one step closer to legalising Australia’s most extreme euthanasia laws. 

The draft laws passed in-principle in the ACT Legislative Assembly on 16 May 2024. 

All Labor and Greens MLAs voted in-principle in support of the laws. Liberal members Elizabeth Lee, Leanne Castley, Mark Parton and Nicole Lawder also supported the bill. 

Five Liberal MLAs voted against the laws – Jeremy Hanson, Elizabeth Kikkert, James Milligan, Ed Cocks and Peter Cain. 

Labor backbencher Marisa Paterson is moving amendments to allow people with early stage dementia to access the regime. 

The Bill is expected to come before the Assembly again in June. 

The laws, if passed, are expected to be implemented by 3 November 2025.

Liberal MLA Ed Cocks has moved an amendment to the bill to protect conscientious objection for individuals and institutions. 

These draft laws are the most extreme and ideological euthanasia laws in the country. They are unsafe, put vulnerable people at risk and prioritise individual autonomy over and above the right of individuals and institutions to conscientiously object to intentionally ending the life of a patient. 

We call on the ACT Legislative Assembly to reject these laws and focus instead on providing adequate funding for palliative care in the Territory. 

As an absolute minimum, we call on the Legislative Assembly to support amendments to protect conscientious objection for individuals and institutions in the ACT.

If you live in the ACT, please consider phoning or emailing your MLAs to let them know of your opposition to these laws. You can find contact details here

In addition, please consider contacting the five LIberal MLAs who have voiced their opposition, to thank them for their courage and principle.