Page 2966 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Regarding Mr Rattenbury’s amendment, which we have passed, I have no difficulty with that. I did not quite understand Mr Hanson’s difficulty with it.
Members have concentrated much on those that are older in our community, and we must not forget that being terminally ill is not something that, sadly, is exclusive to those who are older. Being terminally ill or having unbearable suffering, sadly, may be the fate of those much younger and in fact is the fate of numbers of our younger citizens, including children. They need end-of-life care and they need the same options as we older people do. In fact, how young people under the age of 18 can influence decisions about their end of life is also the subject of much debate, particularly in Belgium, and may be the subject of amendments in the federal parliament there, possibly after the upcoming federal election in Belgium.
I thank the Chief Minister for her leadership in this area, for her support of this conversation on end-of-life issues and for sharing her own experiences with us. I also commend all those who have been working and will continue to work on addressing these issues, including ACT Health, the ACT Local Hospital Network Council, Palliative Care ACT and clinicians who have been joining in these conversations. There is still quite a long way to go, and the conversation no doubt will be quite a robust one from time to time and will be a very interesting opportunity for us all.
I will conclude by again sharing the statement by Professor Marc Englert, that retired cardiologist I mentioned, who said, as I left him, “You must have courage.” I take from that the message that one does need courage to continue to explore these questions of choice and support in relation to the end of life in a respectful, rational and compassionate way. I am glad to have had the opportunity of being able to bring on this motion this morning as the beginning of my contribution to the conversation my government is initiating about the end of life.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
MR HANSON (Molonglo-Leader of the Opposition) (11.01): Madam Speaker, I seek leave to amend my motion as published in the notice paper by omitting the words “dishonest and deceptive” and substituting the word “misleading”, based on your advice that the term “dishonest and deceptive” is unparliamentary.
MR HANSON: I thank members. I move:
That this Assembly:
(a) the importance of ACT and Federal public sector employment to the ACT economy;