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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 1995) . . Page.. 1321 ..


Despite the leading question that was asked in that poll, I do not believe that most people in the situation that is described, if they had to make the decision at that time, would give the answer that they gave in that poll. I simply do not believe it. If a less loaded, less emotional and less directed question had been asked, the pollsters would have got a vastly different answer. If Mr Moore is going to rely on that kind of polling to say that 75 per cent of people want active euthanasia, I think he is misrepresenting the case. What is more, I think he knows that he is misrepresenting the case. But he has developed an obsession, apparently, with active euthanasia. God knows why - and I use the expression “God knows” deliberately. He has to rethink the situation, in my opinion. He has tabled a Bill that I will not support, and I do not think that the Liberal Party, given its position on this issue, publicly stated, can support it. I know that there are other people in this Assembly who, for good reason, will not support it. So, Mr Moore, why not drop it?

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make an explanation under standing order 47, just to explain where something has been misunderstood.

MR SPEAKER: I am reminded that there is no question before the Chair, Mr Moore; so you will have to seek leave to make a personal explanation.

MR MOORE: I seek leave to make a personal explanation, simply to explain where something has been misunderstood - not to debate the issue.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR MOORE: Mr Kaine suggested that the health profession, in some way, is going to be forced to be involved. That is not the case. I will read proposed new section 20A:

Health professional may assign case

20A. Where -

(a) a health professional is unable or unwilling to comply with a direction or the request of a grantee under a power of attorney; and

(b) the patient or that grantee consults another health professional;

the first-mentioned health professional shall, at the request of the second-mentioned health professional, give a copy of the patient’s medical record to the second-mentioned health professional.

There is no forcing of a medical professional to be involved. It is critical to me that medical professionals also have the choice. That is taken into account in the legislation. For that reason, I believe that the legislation is consistent with the Liberal Party’s statement.


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