VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA BILL

Second Reading

Adjourned debate on second reading.

(Continued from 9 June 2016.)

Ms CHAPMAN ( Bragg—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (11:27): I rise to speak on the Voluntary Euthanasia Bill, introduced by the member for Ashford. As I have indicated to her, I will not be supporting the bill in this form. However, it is fair to say that with a number of amendments I would be sympathetic to it being advanced. In short, however, the statutory sanction of death by doctor is something which in the present bill is deficient in definition, is inadequate in protection, and certainly does not address a number of the concerns I have raised.

For the benefit of those who move above the emotive issues to understand the significance of why as legislators we have responsibility to have something that is practicably able to be applied, in terms of something as simple as the insurance law, and the protection against someone avoiding their obligation as an insurer to pay out on an insurance policy where someone has taken their own life via a voluntary euthanasia approval, to impose a fine of $10,000 when you have a $1 million insurance policy is a nonsense.

That is an example of what we have to explore, and I am pleased to see in the bill that has been tabled today that the voiding of the clauses that would obviate that is exactly the sort of work that has to be done as legislators to make sure that not only do we have any process that has suitable protections but that we recognise what ill we are trying to cure as such and, secondly, that there are a number of other consequences that occur that we as legislators have to responsibly address.

What I want to say is that I am concerned, in the last few days, as to why we have got into this mess, and why it is that we are not progressing an amendment to this bill and we are now having to move to another delayed debate on this important issue. It is up there with abortion, stem cell research and all the other issues things we have had to deal with. It is not the only one, but for newer members it is probably the first one.

What is concerning to me is that in the last few days I have heard that one particular organisation, a union, has threatened the re-election of members of this parliament if they were to vote to support voluntary euthanasia, and I am appalled at that. I am not going to name them. I am simply going to say that I want those members to remember that they are here, elected by the people in their electorates, to represent the people of South Australia. I want them to remember that, having accepted that position and been sworn in, they must comply with the obligations that they have sworn to and that they lined up in this parliament and accepted responsibility to do and not be intimidated by the threats of others. That is very important.

The SPEAKER: Could the member seek leave to continue her remarks.

Ms CHAPMAN: I seek leave to continue my remarks.

Leave granted.

The SPEAKER: The adjourned debate to be taken into consideration—

Mr GARDNER: Sir, I think that when time expires it does not need a date defined. It just automatically stays on the list.

The SPEAKER: Well, I am advised by the Clerk that the mover of the bill has the choice.

The Hon. S.W. KEY: Yes, sir. I was hoping that we could adjourn the bill to 1 December. I would have thought that a lot of people in here would be happy about me moving it to 1 December.

The SPEAKER: I am advised that it is not really for us to speculate whether the house will sit on the optional sitting week, so the member for Ashford is entitled to adjourn her bill to Thursday 1 December, and so I accept the motion. Is it seconded?

Debate adjourned.