The Australia Institute is grateful for the opportunity to make a submission to the review of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2023. The ACT Government and Minister for Human Rights Tara Cheyne should be commended for introducing this bill.
With the passage of the Restoring Territory Rights Act through the Commonwealth Parliament in December 2022, the ACT at last became able to legislate on this issue. After almost 20 years – during which time every state in Australia has legalised voluntary assisted dying (VAD) – terminally ill Canberrans will soon also be able to exercise their right to choose to end their life with compassion and dignity.
The Australia Institute supported the Restoring Territory Rights Act, and has long advocated for VAD as a human right, and for the right of the ACT and Northern Territory to legislate VAD. With this submission we add our support to the passage of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2023, and offer some suggestions for how the bill could be improved.