Private story behind Victorian Health Minister’s support

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 [Victoria] was prepared by Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Attorney-General Martin Pakula. On 20 September 2017, Jill Hennessy spoke to Jon Faine on ABC Radio Melbourne about the details of the bill which would be presented to Parliament that day. In an emotional interview, where she revealed that her mother, who was debilitated by MS, died a couple of weeks ago. Hennessy’s mother was a strong supporter of the campaign “Every Saturday she’d say keep going, love. Keep going….I’m very sad that she didn’t get to see the introduction of this bill.” Click for full radio interview (12 mins 36 secs)

Jill Hennessy was only three years old when her mother Joan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Decades later, the decline was ongoing, cruel, and irreversible. “My mum didn’t want that, and at different points in time she would say that she wanted to have control of her own death. But we’re not legally or medically able to do that for her, so she’s denied that choice – she has to literally wither away until an infection takes her, or she chokes, or pneumonia comes by virtue of her body breaking down internally. It’s unbearable to think that will be the end of her life.” Click for article in The Guardian 18 September 2016 ‘Private story behind health minister Jill Hennessy’s support for assisted suicide’

Click for Jill Hennessy’s Speech to the Victorian Legislative Assembly on 21 September 2017 Hansard Victorian Assembly VAD Hennessy 21 September 2017