Dying with Dignity welcomes introduction of NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill

Dying with Dignity NSW welcomed the introduction of the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill into NSW Parliament on Thursday 14 October 2021.

President of Dying with Dignity NSW Penny Hackett said, “This is a momentous day for Dying with Dignity and for our supporters across NSW.”

“It has taken decades of lobbying to reach this point and we are so grateful to Alex Greenwich MP for leading this much-needed and compassionate law reform.”

“We congratulate Alex Greenwich for working collaboratively with his colleagues from across the political spectrum as well as key stakeholders to ensure that NSW is not left behind when it comes to providing greater end of life choice.”

“We encourage every MP to listen to their constituents because we know that there is majority support in every electorate across the state,” said Ms Hackett.

Vice President of Dying with Dignity, Shayne Higson has been campaigning for this law reform for nine years following the traumatic death of her mother in 2012.

“My Mum suffered terribly at the end stage of an aggressive brain cancer. She pleaded with me to end her life but there was nothing that I could do. I know she would have wanted the choice of assisted dying just a few weeks earlier to avoid that end stage,” said Ms Higson.

“My story is not unique. Since the last Bill failed by just one vote four years ago, over 17,000 people have emailed their local MP to ask them to support this legislation and so many of them have traumatic experiences even worse than mine. We can do so much better and that is why we need this Bill to pass.”

Community campaign organiser, Heath Reed said it was a challenge activating a grassroots campaign during the pandemic but he is pleased that the target of 100,000 signatures was reached.

“Before the recent lockdown, Dying with Dignity held over 50 community stalls across NSW with the support of volunteers, many of whom have tragic personal stories that motivated them to get involved.”

“We could not have achieved our target without our wonderful volunteers who manned their stalls, come rain or shine, gathering signatures and talking with interested locals about the proposed law reform,” Mr Reed said.