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Greens pledge to introduce national Dying with Dignity laws

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Media Release 27 June 2016

Greens pledge to introduce national Dying with Dignity laws

Australian Greens Leader Richard Di Natale was joined by former leader Bob Brown and the Greens candidate for Melbourne Ports today to announce the Greens’ plan for national Dying with Dignity laws.

“The Australian Greens are today announcing our commitment to introduce the first ever national Dying with Dignity laws during the next term of parliament,” said Senator Di Natale.

“The Greens believe that terminal patients should have the right to have a say in the timing of their death. As a doctor I know many patients would be comforted just with knowledge that the right existed, even if they never exercise it.

“I tabled an exposure draft of national legislation two years ago and a committee inquiry unanimously recommended that it be put to a conscience vote. I pledge to formally introduce that legislation and call on the leaders of the other parties to commit to allowing a free vote.

“It’s never easy to talk about death but our political leaders need to have the courage to take on challenging issues, especially when it concerns the rights of every Australian.”

Greens candidate for Melbourne Ports, Steph Hodgins-May said her passion for this issue was sparked by working with advocates.

“I had the honour of getting to know Peter Short in the last few months of his life and he will always be a great inspiration,” said Hodgins-May.

“I witnessed the peace and comfort Peter and his family gained from the knowledge that he had some control over the end of his life. I am committed to fighting for Australian to have that choice, that comfort, and to do so without fear of criminalising their loved ones.

“The voices in support of choice at end of life are growing and our federal parliamentarians have a duty to listen and to demonstrate courage and leadership by delivering dying with dignity reform.”

Contacts: Senator Di Natale: Andrew Blyberg - 0457 901 600 Steph Hodgins-May: Ogy Simic - 0402 651 002