Broadcaster and commentator Andrew Denton was interviewed by Peter Inge at our LEADERS SUMMIT last Thursday.
Andrew wanted to discuss the approaching opportunity later this year of Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) legislation being introduced by the Victorian parliament.
He points out that approximately 50 attempts have been made to introduce VAD legislation in Australia and all have failed, mainly because they have been Private Member bills or minority party bills and politicians have taken the easy decision to say ‘next time’.
The Victorian legislation is being introduced by the Andrews government, meaning it is serious legislation. Even so Andrew Denton believes that, despite over 70% of Australians regularly confirming they want the legislation, it has at best a 50-50 chance of success given opposing interests.
He says: “I think too may Australians look at this issue and think that it’s such a no-brainer ‘surely the pollies will let it through’. Unfortunately, history shows us this is not the case”.
“I believe the most powerful voice in this argument – one that is, too often, ignored or sidelined in public debate – is that of Australia’s elderly and their families. It is they, above all, who are facing the difficult questions that come at the end of life. And it is they who stand to benefit most from a law which will offer them more choice, and more control, should the worst befall them”.
For nearly one hour Peter and Andrew mesmerised the audience with their cogent discussion.
Andrew wishes to engage with the village and care sector in generating fresh discussion and awareness of the alternative arguments so when the legislation is being debated our residents can have their reasoned opinions heard.
The SUMMIT lunch and dinner conversation was dominated by the need – or otherwise – for Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation. Many delegates indicated they will get behind Denton’s Go Gentle Australia movement.
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