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90% of Dignity for Disability members support VE law reform

90% of Dignity for Disability members support VE law reform

Dignity for Disability MLC, Kelly Vincent says a poll of party members shows overwhelming support for voluntary euthanasia law reform in South Australia.

“It’s been good to get the feel of the party on this important issue.  I anticipated that the rate of support from Dignity for Disability members would be similar to that in the broader community for voluntary euthanasia,” says Kelly Vincent.

“But I was surprised when ninety percent of members said they would support a bill for people to be able to choose to end their own life through legal voluntary euthanasia.

“Party members want Members of Parliament to get on with legislating for well designed, safeguarded voluntary euthanasia.  On any issue there will be a variety of views, so choice and autonomy are key.   Of course, Dignity for Disability is not the only voice of people with disabilities, our family carers and supporters, but we are the only political party led by a person with a life-long experience of disability. 

“I had not previously surveyed Member’s opinion on voluntary euthanasia, and it remains a conscience vote for the party.

“One thing I would like opponents of this reform to remember is that no one is going to be coerced into choosing to hasten the end of their life.  It is the individual person themselves who holds the control.  They will need to have a terminal illness. It is worth noting that disability on its own does not qualify a person to make a voluntary euthanasia request.

“The person will also need to be of sound mind, they will need to satisfy two doctors that they are making this decision themselves.  People with disabilities can acquire a terminal illness, just like anyone else, and we have a right as much as anyone else to a legal framework and support to make an informed choice about end-of-life from a range of considered options.

“Following this poll of my party members, coupled with the high level of support for change in the state, I feel optimistic that South Australia will lead the way with this necessary law reform,” said Ms Vincent.