Speak to your MP about VAD – Sydney forum
On Thursday 13 July, 2017 at 6pm – 7:30pm a forum was held in the NSW Parliament House Theatre to discuss the final draft of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (draft 21!) which will be presented to the Upper House in the second sitting week of August.
Mr (Alex) Alexander Greenwich, MP (host), Independent Member for Sydney and member of the NSW Parliamentary Working Group on Assisted Dying.
- The Hon Trevor Khan MLC (The Nationals) and member of the NSW Parliamentary Working Group on Assisted Dying.
- Ms Linda Scott, City of Sydney Councillor (Australian Labor Party) – click for Linda’s personal story of support for VAD
- Dr Sarah Edelman, President of Dying with Dignity NSW
- Ms Coral Levett, President of NSW Nurses & Midwives’ Association and Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation – Click for Transcript Coral Levett Speech Sydney Forum 130717
Below is a video of the whole forum (1 hr 21 mins), provided by Alex Greenwich’s team. It includes the informative speeches made by each of the speakers, followed by the engaging panel discussion to answer the questions provided by the audience. One of the key messages that came from the panel discussion was that having the choice of VAD is palliative in itself, as fear and anxiety about end-of-life are often a major part of the suffering experienced by terminally-ill people, and having approval for an assisted death provides great comfort even if it is not used.
It was wonderful to see Annie Gabrielides, her husband Paul, son Michael and daughter Eleni, at the forum. Everyone advocating for voluntary assisted dying in NSW, including all the panel members at this forum, really appreciates the courage and conviction of Annie in speaking out and telling her personal story of living with Motor Neuron Disease and why she wants the choice of an assisted death to prevent her being trapped in her dying body.
If you have not yet signed Annie’s petition to the Members of the NSW Parliament please click here to do so now
All the speakers emphasised the importance of advocating for the Bill by speaking to you Lower House MP now, either in person or via a hand-written letter. Trevor Khan encouraged everyone to meet with their MP and try to “pleasantly persuade them to support the Bill”.
Both Trevor Khan and Sarah Edelman emphasised the importance of personal stories to help convince politicians of the need for this bill to provide compassion and choice to those who are suffering.
Linda Scott said don’t hold back from speaking to MPs if you do not have a personal story of suffering, because the more voices engaged in the discussion of voluntary assisted dying the better. Linda encouraged all the audience members to go out and have conversations about this issue with at least five (or even ten) people that you know and encourage them to speak to their politician too.
Coral Levett spoke of the great document just produced by DWD NSW exposing the myths put out by opponents of VAD – click here to download Assisted Dying – Setting the record straight