Gepp: adequate safeguards

08 Nov 2017 Swan Hill Guardian, Swan Hill VIC (General News) by Peter Bannan IT is wrong not to allow the terminally-ill to have control over their death when they are free to make other health choices, according to a Labor Northern Victoria MP. Mark Gepp contributed to the upper house debate on Victorias euthanasia bill last Thursday and Friday, which passed a second reading 22 votes to 18, after MPs were given a conscience vote. The bill will now progress to whats known as the committee stage, where it will be debated clause by clause. To give people the right to make their own choices about their health care, except at the point where they can choose to end their pain and suffering when it becomes too much just doesnt sit right with me, Mr Gepp said. If by supporting this voluntary assisted dying bill, a terminally-ill Victorian can get their own end of life choices and not have to endure intolerable suffering, then I will consider our duty to have been performed. Mr Gepp believed the bill had adequate safeguards and was based on compassion, empathy and love. Labor colleague, Member Northern Victorian Region Jaclyn Symes said stopping the terminally ill searching the internet for how best to kill myself was one of her motivations for supporting euthanasia. I am voting for this bill so last words to loved ones are sad but content goodbyes, not desperate pleas for help to die, Ms Symes said. I am voting for this bill so that medical professionals are clear about what they can do to help ease suffering and hasten death. I am voting for the bill so that those diagnosed with a terminal illness are Googling how do I enjoy my last 12 months of life and writing bucket lists, not Googling how best to kill myself and writing suicide notes. Ms Symes rejected moves to amend the ability to access the bill from 12 months before death to six months. Its fair to say that many people with a neuro-degentrative disease would effectively lose the benefit of access if we did not have a 12-month outer limit, she said. Nationals MP for Northern Victoria Luke OSullivan argued the government could not proceed with voluntary assisted dying until questions around which concoction would be used were answered. Nembutal is the drug that is used around the world in terms of people undertaking to end their life on a voluntary basis, and as we know right now Nembutal has not gone through the Therapeutic Goods Administration process. So that leaves us in a bit of a bind as to what would actually be used, he told Parliament. Caption Text: Labor MP for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the assisted dying bill was based on compassion, empathy and love. Nationals MP for Northern Victoria Luke OSullivan said he was proud of his partys funding commitment towards palliative care during his contribution to the assisted dying legislation debate last week. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.