Hawkesbury MPs' opinions split on assisted dying legislation

Voluntary euthanasia, or assisted dying, is a divisive issue and NSW MPs will have a conscience vote on the matter, where they will be free to vote outside of party lines. Picture: From file

Voluntary euthanasia, or assisted dying, is a divisive issue and NSW MPs will have a conscience vote on the matter, where they will be free to vote outside of party lines. Picture: From file

KEVIN Conolly and Prue Car do not see eye to eye on a bill, which could see euthanasia legalised in New South Wales.

Londonderry MP Prue Car intends to support it, while Riverstone MP will vote against it, when the bill comes before the lower house of NSW Parliament.

This week, draft legislation was released, which if passed, would allow people over the age of 25, who have a terminal medical condition, to voluntarily end their own lives, with the assistance of a doctor.

A number of safeguards have been written into the draft legislation, which would require someone wishing to end their own life to visit two separate doctors, as well as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

However, the safeguards are not enough, according to the Liberal Party’s Kevin Conolly, who feels no matter how many protections are built into the act, people will find a way to take advantage of them.

“I don't personally support legislation of this kind,” he said.

“Fundamentally because you can never make it fool proof, as soon as you cross the line of allowing people to kill other people, it is never going to be fool proof.”

Mr Conolly said he was worried people would be coerced into taking their own life by family members, or could feel an obligation to end their lives because the option was now legally there.

“I feel an obligation to protect vulnerable people who might feel pressured to do this or people who can't speak for themselves,” he said.

“Euthanasia boundaries keep on getting pushed, there is definition creep, people taking it upon themselves to interpret others' wishes, and social pressure put on some.”

Labor’s Prue Car said she would support the legislation.

“I strongly believe that those suffering have the right to die with dignity,” she said. 

“Before politics I worked at MS Australia and saw firsthand how our law is failing those who are suffering the most.

“That experience has helped form my view as a legislator that as a society we must give suffering people the dignity they deserve.”

The Gazette contacted Member for Hawkesbury Dominic Perrottet for comment but he had not responded at time of publication.

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