Euthanasia Bill Shut Down In South Australia

This is the fourth post in our series about euthanasia and assisted suicide. Keep an eye out for a report on Alex Schadenberg’s talk from last night. reports that a bill to legalize euthanasia in South Australia was unexpectedly defeated last week:

In a surprise victory for pro-life advocates, South Australia’s Upper House has narrowly voted down an amendment to their palliative care legislation that would have legalized euthanasia.

The bill was proposed by Greens member Mark Parnell. It was expected to pass 11-10, with the support of independent member Ann Bressington, the swing vote. Bressington opted to abstain, however, after amendments she had sought failed. This abstention would have resulted in a tie, meaning that Upper House President Bob Sneath would vote to pass the bill.

In the end, however, member David Ridway announced to the shock of pro-life observers that personal reasons had led him to change his mind, and he voted against the bill.

Parnell has stated his intention to make another attempt at legalizing euthanasia after the state elections in March 2010. With the upcoming retirement of two pro-life members, pro-life advocates have indicated that such an attempt has a real risk of succeeding.

This is a reminder that we must remain vigilant. Bill C-384 doesn’t seem to have enough support to pass in Canada, but we need to keep the pressure on against it and do our best to educate the public in response to confusion about euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Previous posts in this series:

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