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Update on the COTA NT petition to allow the NT to enact laws dealing with voluntary assisted dying

6 Apr 2022

Read the full letter PN0527 – Ministerial response – Assistant Minister Regional Development and Territories here.


COTA NT has received an update on its petition, Repeal Section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978 to allow the NT to enact laws dealing with voluntary assisted dying from the Assistant Minister of Regional Development and Territories.
 
[Extract]
“…The Australian Government recognises members of the community have strong views about dying with dignity, compassion and with minimal pain. The Australian Government believes people should have access to quality palliative care and relief from pain and suffering and, where possible, people should be able to choose the extent of active medical treatment they receive. The underlying principle of our investment in health services is quality of life, and this includes during end of life care.
 
The Australian Government does not intend to introduce legislation to repeal the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 (Cth) that inserted provisions preventing the Northern Territory from legislating to permit euthanasia. I note on 4 August 2021, Senator Sam McMahon introduced the Ensuring Northern Territory Rights Bill 2021 into Parliament This private members’ bill seeks to amend the Northern Territory Self Government Act to remove limits on the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly’s powers to make laws in relation to a range of matters, including voluntary assisted dying. The Bill is currently before the Senate…*
[Extract finishes]. Read the full letter PN0527 – Ministerial response – Assistant Minister Regional Development and Territories here.
 
*The private member’s Bill, Ensuring Northern Territory Rights Bill 2021 introduced by Senator Sam McMahon seeking to amend the Northern Territory Self Government Act to remove limits on the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly’s powers to make laws in relation to voluntary assisted dying is currently before the Senate.
 
COTA NT will be considering what its next steps are.

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