Today’s Topics: Dec. 16, 2020

1. Major push for final passage of Bill C-7 in Canada
2. Medical Aid In Dying campaign hits front page of Boston Globe
3. My Life My Choice and Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation in Queensland, Australia
4. Dignitas newsletter
5. Austria’s Constitutional Court Strikes Down Assisted Suicide Ban
6. New from South Australia

Message: 1

Dying With Dignity Canada is urging all Canadians to contact their
senators to demand passage of Bill C-7, which passed its third reading
in the House of Commons on December 10.  “We are now only about one
week away from December 18, the deadline ordered by the Quebec
Superior Court. With your help, we can ensure that the Senate hears
clearly that Canadians want Bill C-7 passed. Take one minute and send
a letter to the Senators to let them know that passing Bill C-7 is
critical to relieving suffering for those individuals, identified in
the Truchon decision, that continue to be denied their constitutional
right to access medical assistance in dying.”

The bill contains several extremely important improvements to Canada’s
aid in dying law.  For people “whose natural death is reasonably
foreseeable”, it eliminates the ten-day waiting period, and allows
them to enter into an “advance consent” agreement which would
eliminate the requirement to be lucid and give final consent at the
moment of administration — both of which constitute a great mercy.
And it addresses the needs of people whose physical suffering has
become extreme but whose “natural death is not reasonably foreseeable”
— for example, people with advanced Parkinson’s — by allowing aid in
dying under strict safeguards, including a 90-day evaluation period.

Dying With Dignity Canada is at:

Their web page urging support for Bill C-7 is at:

An excellent summary of Bill C-7 prepared by the Canadian Department
of Justice is at:

Message: 2

She hastened her own death ? a deliberate decision in accordance with
the law, in the face of a terminal illness. Will the option be
available in Massachusetts?
Boston Globe
By Mark Arsenautl, Nov. 28, 2020

A lengthy article on the front page of the Boston Globe highlights the
latest in the fierce campaign to pass a Medical Aid In Dying law in
the U.S. state of Massachusetts.

Opening with the story of Kathleen Kreiss, a resident of the state of
Washington who took advantage of that state’s MAID law, the article
continues with an overview of the states with MAID laws, and notes
that although a 2012 MAID referendum in Massachusetts narrowly failed
to pass, “Since then, supporters have worked to get medical aid in
dying approved by the state Legislature, and believe momentum is
slowly gathering to their side.  In 2017, the most powerful physicians
organization in the state, the Massachusetts Medical Society, dropped
its opposition, after a survey of its members showed support for
giving patients this choice. … ‘This year, for the first time we’ve
been able to get medical aid in dying legislation moved out of the
Joint Committee on Public Health,’ said Roger Kligler, a Falmouth
doctor who has been diagnosed with stage IV metastatic prostate

The full article is at:

Message: 3

My Life My Choice is the coalition working for the passage of
Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation in Queensland, Australia.

Its December 2020 newsletter should thrill all advocates for aid in
dying.  It is evidence for the effectiveness of years of organizing
and building political will for the passage of legislation.  The lead
article, by David Muir, Chair of the Clem Jones Trust, notes, “New
laws are now in place in Victoria and Western Australia, while
progress is being made in Tasmania and South Australia.”  He notes
that “In the election campaign Premier Annastacia Palasczuk said she
wanted a Bill sent to parliament in February of next year,” comments
that this was an ambitious timetable, and counsels advocates to be
patient to ensure that the bill that is ultimately enacted will be a
strong one.

Other articles note how in the Australian state of Tasmania, former
opponents of VAD legislation are now supporting it, including Premier
Peter Gutwein and Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff. Activists are urged
to focus on every single one of the 93 members of parliament,
reminding MP’s that theirs will be a conscience vote and urging them
at least to abstain, if they cannot support a VAD bill, to protect
others’ freedom of choice.

The four-page newsletter, in beautiful color, is available at:

My Life My Choice Australia is on Facebook at:

Dying With Dignity Queensland is at:

Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice is “a national organisation of
Australian medical practitioners, committed to attaining the legal
choice for rational adults, with intolerable suffering, for which
there is no realistic cure or relief, to end their lives at a time of
their choosing and in the presence of those whom they choose.
Assistance may be by doctor prescription of medication for personal
consumption, or by doctor administration.”  It is located at:

Message: 4

Good morning,

Under this link, you’ll find the latest issue of our newsletter for
your perusal.

Best regards from Zurich
Claudia Magri

Message: 5

Austria’s Constitutional Court issued two important decisions. It held
it unconstitutional to prohibit assisting suicide.  According to the
Court’s press release:

At the request of several people affected, including two seriously ill
people, the Constitutional Court (VfGH) repealed the provision that
makes assisting suicide a criminal offense.

The phrase “or help him” in Section 78 of the Criminal Code is
unconstitutional. It violates the right to self-determination, because
this fact forbids any kind of assistance under any circumstances.

Read more here:

Message: 6

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill was tabled in both Chambers of the
South Australian Parliament on Wednesday December 2, 2020. First by
Hon Susan Close in the House of Assembly (lower house) and later in
the day by Hon Kyam Maher in the Legislative Council (upper house).
This is the seventeenth time a Bill has been introduced into South
Australian parliament. The last Bill was defeated by only one vote.

The VAD Bill was tabled by and by Hon Susan Close in the House of
Assembly (lower house). Debate was adjourned until 2021 when
Parliament resumes on February 2.

The VAD Bill can be viewed here:

The speech by Hon Kyam Maher can be viewed on facebook here:

The speech by Hon Susan Close can be viewed on facebook here:

Submitted by: Libby Drake
Reference: South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society: