We received great news on 16 November, as the euthanasia bill in NSW was narrowly defeated by a razor-thin margin of 20 votes to 19. The MLCs obviously listened to the serious concerns raised by doctors, lawyers and other professionals about the legislation and voted accordingly.
The slim margin shows the importance, and the power, of a single vote. Each of the 20 MLCs who voted against the bill was literally the difference between life and death. Those who voted against the bill spoke of the need to provide – and promote – better end-of-life care options for patients.
Those against the bill cited the need for better palliative care and raised concerns about future amendments potentially removing current safeguards.
"Rather than creating a perceived need for euthanasia, we should be emphasising the advances in medicine and technology that help people," Labor health spokesman Walt Secord told parliament on Thursday.
Throughout the debate, one thing was clear: the MPs listened to the voice of the people and voted accordingly. But, although the outcome is a victory – shielding vulnerable Australians from a variety of risks inherent to euthanasia and assisted suicide – this is not a time for complacency. As we have seen, the Victorian Assisted Dying Bill 2017 has now passed the Victorian parliament and is set to become law.
Please don’t be discouraged! We need you to continue to stand with us, and make sure that euthanasia and assisted suicide do not become legalised in any other state. If you have not already done so, stand with us and sign the pledge to say “NO” to assisted suicide and euthanasia in ALL of Australia. With the victory in NSW due in large part to the efforts of regular Aussies who took a stand, it is important that we continue to make our voices heard. If you are looking to do your part, please join us in signing the pledge to say “NO” to euthanasia and assisted suicide in all of Australia.