I welcome the passing of the End of Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Bill 2020 in the Legislative Council, last night.
This Bill, I believe, will ensure that Tasmanians who are experiencing intolerable suffering due to an advanced, incurable and irreversible medical condition that is expected to cause death, are empowered to make an informed choice about their end of life, while ensuring rigorous safeguards are in place to protect the vulnerable in our community.
I would like to thank my parliamentary colleagues for their valuable contribution, including through the Committee scrutiny of this Bill, where I moved significant amendments which have now been supported by both Houses of Parliament.
The amendments strengthened the Bill, both in terms of access and support for those wishing to access VAD, addressing issues with implementation while improving safeguards for patients and practitioners.
I acknowledge the different views on this important matter, in this Parliament and in our community, and I thank all Members for their contributions and respectful debate. Importantly, I acknowledge the work of the Member for Mersey, Hon Mike Gaffney MLC, and the Legislative Council in getting the Bill passed.
I am proud to be a member of the Liberal Party, a Party that has afforded its members a conscience vote, and I respect the range of views that have been outlined during this debate, and the amendments put forward by Members that have strengthened the Bill.