Dying With Dignity

The Greens SA do not believe in forcing people to continue to exist in painful or degrading conditions against their will.

The Greens SA seek to save and preserve life, but we do not believe in forcing people to prolong their lives under conditions of suffering at the end-point of life. When people have a terminal illness and are suffering to such an extent that they no longer wish to have their lives prolonged, they should be able to seek a peaceful death under medical supervision with their families in attendance or ask consenting medical practitioners to help them end their lives.

The Greens believe that dying with dignity should be a basic human right. In SA, the Greens have introduced multiple voluntary euthanasia Bills, which have been defeated by the narrowest of margins. The Greens vision is for a society that respects and values an individual’s right to choose.

The Greens SA want:

  • People diagnosed with a terminal illness to be able to die with dignity
  • Adults to be able to choose their own care and treatment for a terminal illness
  • Hospitals and doctors to be able to support people in their choice of treatments without compunction

The Greens SA will initiate and support legislation that allows for voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted dying in strictly limited situations, where the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The applicant is a mentally competent adult (18 years or older) 
  • The person with the terminal illness must, at the time of application and at all later stages in the process, be currently experiencing pain or suffering associated with that terminal illness
  • The relevant law must set out each and every one of the protections outlined below to establish that the application is voluntary and remains so throughout the process 
  • The relevant law will only be available to someone who is confirmed by two separate, independent medical practitioners as being in the final stages of a terminal illness

The Greens SA will introduce and support legislation that will:

  • Allow a terminally ill adult to end their life with the help of an approved medical professional after being fully informed of the likely progress of the terminal illness, forms of practically available evidence-based treatment and the possible side-effects, benefits and outcomes
  • Ensure that the applicant, by reason of pain or suffering associated with a terminal illness, truly wishes to end their life and has not been pressured into their decision by others, or has made the request as consequence of a mental disorder
  • Ensure that the applicant is made aware that the approved medical professional to whom the request is made may refuse the request, in which case the applicant may approach a different approved medical professional
  • Ensure that the applicant has been provided with levels of care, physical support and psychological support that are appropriate to their circumstances 
  • Ensure that the applicant has attempted all practically available evidence-based treatments and pain management measures, including where relevant, psychological support 
  • Limit the application of the legislation to South Australian residents
  • Ensure that, when acting in compliance with the legislation, the applicant and any person who deals with or gives effect to a request does not incur any criminal or civil liability and is not liable to any disciplinary proceeding 
  • Protect the right of medical professionals or other medical staff to not be involved in any aspect of voluntary euthanasia unless they choose to
  • Support increases in funding and support for palliative care, including both local hospice and home-based care