Murray Valley Standard letters to the editor: June 20, 2019

Members of SAVES meet at Victor Harbor. Photo: Karen Eckermann.
Members of SAVES meet at Victor Harbor. Photo: Karen Eckermann.

Have your say on voluntary euthanasia

Last Friday I attended a meeting of the South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society at the Victor Harbor Croquet Club rooms.

Present were the group's longstanding members, advocates, Liberal MP David Basham and Labor MLC Kyam Maher.

The MPs offered the audience personal stories of loved ones who had endured a distressing end of life experience, which had led them to the "yes" side of the dying with dignity debate.

They also informed the meeting of a current joint parliamentary committee on end of life choices - made of up three Liberal, two Labor and one Greens member - which is looking into the community appetite for similar legislation to what Victoria has recently introduced.

Protections, safety measures and religious beliefs were discussed at length, and both MPs noted the parliamentary committee was made up of members holding diverse opinions to ensure the information gathered was fairly balanced.

All South Australians are urged to make a submission to this committee.

Readers will recall the last time this issue came to the parliament it was narrowly defeated by the one deciding vote of the Speaker of the day, Michael Atkinson.

The outcomes from this committee could include the introduction of a new bill to the SA Parliament as early as mid-2020.

This is an important issue to young and old alike.

Ourselves and our loved ones may face considerable illness and suffering before death and many, like myself, believe it is an individual's right to choose for themselves how that process unfolds.

Victoria has introduced 58 safeguards to address every potential loophole or flaw that could arise.

If SA was to adopt a similar framework, there will then be a secure choice available to those who seek it.

Please consider offering your thoughts for the committee's deliberations, whichever side of the debate your views fall on: submissions can be as small as a paragraph.

If you request so, you may also be able to speak personally at a public session with the committee members, likely later this year.

Please give a copy of your submission to our local MPs as well - if a vote is held next year, that will be important.

Email your thoughts to jcendoflifechoices@parliament.sa.gov.au or mail to the Secretary to the End of Life Choices Committee, Parliament House, GPO Box 572, Adelaide SA 5001.

Submissions will close on August 1.

Karen Eckermann, Murray Bridge

It's not all bad

What a pleasure it was to read about John Farley's act of goodwill and human kindness to RDA Murray Bridge ("Hay helps RDA horses", June 11).

Well done.

N and M Paterson, Murray Bridge

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