This article was originally published on the HOPE Australia website.
By Paul Russell - The Director of HOPE Australia.
The on-again, off-again motion on the notice paper in the Victorian Upper House was given time for debate today.
As we reported earlier, the motion by Greens MLC, Colleen Hartland was designed to ask the State Attorney-General to refer the matter to the Victorian Law Reform Commission for an inquiry. The VLRC, as we noted, is not a body answerable to the Victorian people, is charged with reform of the law when no mandate for such reform has been made and has only a legal framework that cannot adequately account for the ethical and moral dimensions of any euthanasia law.
Speaking against the motion, Bernie Finn MLC, observed to his colleagues that to support this motion would be to effectively abrogate their responsibilities as legislators elected by the Victorian people to fulfill that function. Finn, instead, argued for a parliamentary inquiry where the issues cold be thrashed out by members of parliament. A position that we also support (see earlier article).
Other MLCs, including Rachel Carling-Jenkins, highlighted concerns for vulnerable people, the data from Belgium and the Netherlands. Carling-Jenkins had also given a speech the previous day about elder abuse; something which clearly resonated with her colleagues during the euthanasia debate. She also related, with some emotion, her concern for people living with disabilities.