In order to assist Catholics in casting their vote at the upcoming federal election, the Archdiocese of Sydney provided parties with a list of questions relating to a number of important issues for Catholics in this election. Their responses are provided here in full.
What is your party’s position on allowing territories to legislate in matters relating to assisted suicide or euthanasia?
The underlying principle of the federal Government’s investment in health services is quality of life, and this includes during end of life care. People should have access to quality palliative care and relief from pain and suffering. Where possible, they should be able to choose the extent of active medical treatment they receive.
The Morrison Government is not planning any changes to the Territory Self-Government Acts at this time.
The Greens believe that Federal Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws are required to ensure that all States and Territories can have access to physician assisted dying.
In 1997 the Federal Liberal Government legislated to prevent the ACT, the NT and Norfolk Island from being able to pass laws on voluntary euthanasia.The Greens believe that all Australian citizens should have the same rights, particularly when it comes to important issues like dying with dignity.
The current Commonwealth restriction discriminates against the Territories and treats the people of the ACT, NT and Norfolk Island as second-class citizens. That’s why we introduced legislation into the Federal Parliament to hand back the right to legislate on this issue to the Territories and supported similar moves when legislation was introduced in 2017. You can read Richard Di Natale’s speech on the most recent bill here.
We’ll continue to work to ensure the Territories’ rights are restored.
Under Labor’s National Platform, members of parliament are entitled to vote on matters relating to voluntary assisted dying in accordance with their conscience.
We do not support euthanasia. These are matters for states to determine, and neither the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory have demonstrated a capacity for self-governance and self-reliance sufficient enough to legislate on such grave matters.
It is a matter for the individual to decide.