Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman has encouraged community input on a bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia. The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill was introduced to NSW Parliament on Thursday and will be put to a vote in the next few weeks.
The bill aims to give terminally ill people the choice to end their life at a time and place of their choosing. Strict provisions have been included to ensure the person has the capacity to make and understand the consequences and that they are acting voluntarily and without pressure or duress.
The bill comes after community pressure to enable voluntary euthanasia, including a Yass woman who shared her story of double tragedy.
Mrs Tuckerman has made a copy of the bill, frequently asked questions and a flow chart of the proposed process available on her website.
"I am seeking feedback from the community on their thoughts on the bill and have opened a poll to hear opinions of Goulburn electorate constituents," she said.
"If you have contacted my office on the subject previously, I thank you and your feedback has been considered."
Independent member for Sydney Alex Greenwich introduced the bill with 28 multi-party co-sponsors from across NSW Parliament.
(Share your opinion via our poll. Story continues below)
On Thursday Mr Greenwich addressed the NSW Parliament Legislative Assembly.
"The bill will create a safe framework for people who are in the final stages of a terminal illness, and who are experiencing cruel suffering that cannot be relieved by treatment or palliative care, to be provided with the choice to die peacefully, with dignity and surrounded by loved ones," he said.
He said Palliative Care Australia had estimated that end-of-life care could not effectively control 10 to 20 percent of symptoms.
"The stories within these statistics are heartbreaking," Mr Greenwich said.
"I know all members have heard from the loved ones of someone who died a slow and agonising death.
"Stories of people who died choking on their bodily fluids, who slowly suffocated to death, whose tumours grew so large they broke bones, who were unable to swallow, whose bodies were covered in painful open sores, whose organs shut down causing symptoms like violently regurgitating faeces, and whose bodies slowly wasted away.
"Without the option of voluntary assisted dying, people who receive bad news about their terminal prognosis live in fear and sadly the rate of death by suicide among people who are terminally ill is high."
If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis, please seek help immediately by calling 000. You can also seek support from one of these services:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.