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Go Gentle Australia publishes August 2021 Newsletter

August 2021

In January we made a bold claim – 2021 could be the year Australia embraces Voluntary Assisted Dying.Six months later, we’re excited to say events are proving us correct.Tasmania and South Australia passed VAD laws in March and June – joining Victoria and Western Australia as states with more compassionate end of life choice.Tasmania’s law broke new ground as the first private member’s bill to succeed in an Australian state parliament. It was also the first Bill to attract significant support from the conservative side of politics.South Australia’s law, also a private member’s bill, represented a tipping point – four jurisdictions down, four to go – in the fight to win VAD laws for all Australians.Queensland and NSW are the next to tackle this reform, scheduled for September this year. These debates will be the toughest yet.  If you live in NSW or Queensland and haven’t already done so, please contact your state MPs and urge them to get behind the draft bills.As more states move on assisted dying, we must not forget the 700,000 Australians who live in the ACT and Northern Territory, whose elected representatives are forbidden from even having the conversation.The Commonwealth ‘Andrews Bill’, which overturned the world’s first VAD law in the Northern Territory in 1997, prohibited the Territories from ever debating VAD again.Moves are afoot at the federal level to right this wrong. Wherever you live in Australia, please contact your federal MPs and let them know you want this unjust law thrown out.Adding to the momentum, Victoria marked the second anniversary of its landmark VAD law and Western Australia’s legislation came into effect.It was fitting that such significant milestones happened this year, in Go Gentle Australia’s fifth birthday year. When Andrew Denton launched Go Gentle at the National Press Club this time five years ago, seeking to light a fire “so big no politician could ignore it”, the task of winning more compassionate end of life choice for Australians seemed almost insurmountable. That goal now appears tantalisingly close.The stories in this newsletter show how much we’ve achieved together. Please take a few moments to read them, not only to celebrate how far we’ve come but to gain inspiration for the battles ahead. Kiki PaulCEOQueensland VAD bill on trackQueensland could be the next Australian state to legalise Voluntary Assisted Dying with a government-sponsored VAD Bill to be debated in parliament in September. READ MOREDraft VAD bill brings NSW in line with other statesIndependent MP Alex Greenwich has released the NSW Draft Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 for consultation. The Bill is scheduled to be tabled in parliament in September. READ MORETasmania passes Voluntary Assisted Dying lawTasmania made history in May by becoming the third Australian state to legalise voluntary assisted dying with overwhelming support from both houses of parliament. READ MORE South Australia becomes fourth Aussie state to pass assisted dying lawAfter 25 years and 17 attempts, South Australia became the fourth Australian state – and the second this year – to legalise medical assistance to die. READ MORESenator Sam McMahonNew bill to legalise assisted dying in the Northern TerritorySenator Sam McMahon has introduced a new bill to federal parliament that may allow the NT to make its own voluntary assisted dying laws. The Bill excludes the ACT. READ MOREMary-Ellen Passmore and her children - The West Australian‘Eternally thankful’ – Indigenous woman among first to choose Voluntary Assisted Dying in WAA 63-year-old terminally ill woman from Perth became the first identified Western Australian to use the state’s Voluntary Assisted Dying law. READ MOREAssisted dying: ‘I wouldn’t do this if I could recover – I’m doing it because I can’t.’Victorian Martin Mahood chose an assisted death in May. “He was calm and at one point when he was dying he was almost happy. He had his family there. I’m glad for him that it happened in the way he wanted.” READ MORE