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Dignified dying has long been a topic of discussion not only in Australia but around the world. Until recently, it was just that, a topic of discussion. Now it seems South Australia may be leading the charge with new Assisted Dying Laws passed through parliament in 2021. 

A bill to legalise euthanasia has been passed through South Australia's Lower House. Over the last 26 years, South Australia has seen the attempt of the passing of this law 17 times. So what is the history of the bill? Who introduced it to the Upper House for the 17th time and why? Labor Member of Parliament Kyam Maher introduced it, after witnessing his mother pass away from a long and slow battle of Cancer. He states:

"After Mum passed, I knew being a supporter was not enough. I had to do everything I possibly could"

Thanks to Maher, and many others who supported this movement, South Australia is now one of 4 Australia States who has a law that allows a chance to practice compassion and give those with a terminal illness a choice. The legislation passed in South Australia is similar to that passed in Victoria, which has seen successful operations over the last two years. 

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There are some minor differences between the two though. Under South Australian Law, some places will be allowed to refuse to assist directly in any Assisted Dying. For example, if there are Private Hospitals run by certain faith groups such as Catholic or Lutheran and they have previously expressed their disagreement with Assisted Dying, then they can exclude it on their premises.

It is important to mention that those associated with such organisations who wish to have the choice of Assisted Dying can still do so. They are allowed to consult with their GP and support team on the premises, and cannot be refused transportation to any appointment associated with Assisted Dying proceedings. 

Voluntary assisted dying advocates say a government decision to hold off allowing euthanasia until March 29, 2023 – 21 months after legislation passed – will prolong the suffering of South Australians with terminal illnesses.

Further Reading

Voluntary Assisted Dying South Australia (VADSA)

Phone: 0421 305 684
Web: www.vadsa.org.au 
Email: iThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Mail: PO Box 2151 Kent Town, SA 5071