Jill's MS plight again calls attention to tragic euthanasia "too hard basket": Greens

3rd February 2010 - The Greens have today expressed deep sympathy for the plight of the MS sufferer who wants only to be known as “Jill”, and said her plight again calls attention to Parliaments around Australia regularly putting the issue of voluntary euthanasia in the “too hard basket.”

 Jill’s wish to have a dignified death was reported in today’s The West Australian.

 “We call again on WA members of Parliament to turn their attention to the issue of whether the state should respect people’s right to determine their own fate when the quality of their lives becomes as eroded as Jill’s has become,” said the Greens’ Mining and Pastoral MLC Robin Chapple.

 “There are many in the community that think such a right should be an absolute one, or in other words that no one should be able to tell anyone else that they must just ‘grin and bear it’ through a life they find impossible to endure.”

 “The Greens of course are advocating a much narrower approach; voluntary euthanasia just for the terminally ill and in carefully defined circumstances, as described in my private member’s Bill.”

 Mr Chapple said that it was impossible, without being aware of the view of medical practitioners who had considered Jill’s specific case, to know whether she would be covered by his legislation.

 “Multiple Sclerosis is a highly unpredictable disease; in fact, that is one of the most challenging aspects for its sufferers.”

 “People can in some cases rapidly deteriorate and die within five years, but in other cases live long and only partially shortened lives.”

 “The point for Jill and for others like her is that whether or not Parliament will respect her choice is, so far, only a theoretical question.”

 “We call on the State Government to make debating my Bill a priority in the upcoming session of Parliament so people like Jill can have the critical questions directly impacting on her life addressed by this State’s lawmakers,” Mr Chapple added.

  •  Media contact: Robin Chapple 0409 379 263
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