Denton speech: Assistance to end suffering is a human right

Denton speech: Assistance to end suffering is a human right

Andrew Denton delivered a speech on Friday 21 July to the Monash University’s Castan Centre for Human Rights. His discussion of the need for voluntary assisted dying law was based upon the human rights codified under ‘The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Victoria)’

Specifically, Andrew Denton focused on:

  • The right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief; and
  • The right to protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

“We fight to live. It is our very deepest urge. A law to help someone die is written for a very particular, a very small, group of people. They are the very sickest people in our society. The most vulnerable. And there is only one reason why any of them would seek such help — or be given it: because sometimes, despite the best medical care, the only thing that will end suffering is death.”

The Australian published an exert from the speech in their article ‘A right to protection from torture and suffering’

Following is a video of the full speech (58 mins)