Canberrans will now be given agency over their end of life and the right to die with dignity after the ACT Legislative Assembly passed legislation to enable Voluntary Assisted Dying. 

“We are a compassionate and progressive jurisdiction and Canberrans have been advocating to have choice and agency over their end of life care for as long as I can remember,” said ACT Greens Leader, Shane Rattenbury. 

“It has been clear for so long now that Canberrans - and indeed all people - should have the right to make these very important and sensitive decisions about their own health and life. 

“The Greens - both federally and locally – are proud to have championed this issue alongside the community for many decades. During her time in the Legislative Assembly between 1995-1998, Lucy Horodny advocated strongly for the passing of voluntary euthanasia legislation, which narrowly failed. 

“In 2008, former Greens Leader, Bob Brown, introduced a Euthanasia bill into Federal Parliament to restore the rights of Territories to legislate for the right to die with dignity. 

“Almost 30 years on, it’s a really momentous day for Canberra to see the Legislation finally passed. I’m really proud that all 6 Greens MLAs voted unanimously to bring this compassionate, safe and workable scheme into reality,” said Mr Rattenbury. 

ACT Greens MLA and Greens representative on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Committee Inquiry, Andrew Braddock, welcomed the passage of the legislation after months of engagement with the community and stakeholders. 

“What I learned through the committee process is that voluntary assisted dying is already happening here in the ACT. Sometimes peacefully, sometimes traumatically, sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully, but the one consistent element is that it all happens in secret. 

“The passage of this bill brings VAD out of the shadows, makes it safer, and reduces the trauma for all involved, ultimately to the benefit of both the individual and the community.  

“Having structure, support and protections for people to enable them to make decisions about their end of life journey will relieve a lot of the burden and stress for families during what is often a traumatic and stressful time. 

“I’d like to acknowledge the community advocates who have worked tirelessly over many years to progress this important issue.

“I’m really proud to have been involved during the inquiry and debate on this legislation  and I know the impact that it’s going to have to allow Canberrans to die with dignity,” said Mr Braddock.