Thursday, 26 June 2008

Euthanasia bill may go to conscience vote

Greens Senator Bob Brown

A Senate inquiry has recommended parliamentarians get a conscience vote on a private member's bill designed to revive the Northern Territory's euthanasia legislation.

In a split decision, the inquiry decided Greens Senator Bob Brown's bill should be allowed to proceed.

It was intended to reinstate the Territory's right-to-die legislation that the Federal Government overturned more than a decade ago.

But the inquiry recommended the new bill be amended so that instead of reinstating the old legislation, the Territory is given the capacity to legislate again if it wants to.

Senator Brown is pleased with the decision but is not sure whether the Territory Government would act on its new power.

The Federal Opposition has indicated it would like to see the issue go to a conscience vote, but the Prime Minister has not indicated whether he would allow it.


Mercy killing verdicts reignite euthanasia debate
A euthanasia advocate is appealing for changes to the law after two women were yesterday found guilty of the manslaughter of an Alzheimer's disease sufferer. Shirley Justins, 59, was found guilty of the manslaughter of her partner Graeme Wiley, who died from an overdose of the euthanasia drug Nembutal in his northern Sydney home in 2006.

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