Tasmania Australia Defeats Bill to Legalize Euthanasia

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 17, 2013   |   12:03PM   |   Tasmania, Australia

The state legislature in Tasmania, Australia has defeated a bill that would have legalized euthanasia — thanks to a coalition of organizations banding together.

Paul Russell of HOPE, a leading anti-euthanasia campaigner, provided LifeNews with more details on the victory.

The debate in the Tasmanian House of Assembly has just concluded. A long and worthwhile exercise with some great contributions on both sides of the debate.

It is with a very deep sense of relief that I confirm that the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013 has been defeated!

The vote was extremely close: 13:11 and negatived by one vote

The other side ran a strong campaign and stayed on message throughout – even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.

For now, we can share some relief and perhaps even celebration. But please spare a thought for those who supported the bill because of difficult personal circumstances who will now, no doubt, be disappointed and dejected. Our opposition are people too and they deserve the dignity and respect that we seek and demand for the vulnerable and for all in our society.

We can be glad, we should be happy at this outcome, but we should not gloat nor ridicule. Personally, I feel deeply for their loss on this occasion as I know some supporters personally and I have no doubt that they will be deeply disappointed at this time.

There have been some great lessons in this debate that need to be digested.

Meanwhile, American bioethics attorney and writer Wesley Smith has more on the defeat — and the media bias that accompanied the reporting on the legislation.

The attempt to legalize euthanasia in the Australian state of Tasmania has been defeated. From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s typically biased story:

The Tasmanian Premier and Greens leader have lost their bid to give terminally ill people the right to take their own lives.

Wrong! The bill was decidedly not limited to the terminally ill. The standard was “incurable and irreversible, not “terminal.” That would open the door to a very broad killing license. From my HE commentary on its terms:



That language is broad enough to drive a hearse through. Indeed, think about the kinds of situations that would permit doctor-prescribed death. Asymptomatic HIV causing serious existential suffering and fear? Sure. Diabetes caused blindness or neuropathy? Yes. Spinal cord injury? Yup. Rheumatoid arthritis? Indeed.

And also note there are no quotes from opponents in the entire story.

This fits the emerging media meme that there is only one “right” side to stories involving scientific, social, and cultural controversies–the one they believe in–as in an LA Times editor explaining why he refuses to run anti-global warming letters to the editor.