twitter facebook youtube

Sign up to Exit's eNewsletter

The Exit Internationalist

May 21, 2022

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese & Voluntary Euthanasia

Anthony Albanese is Australia’s new Prime Minister and Exit congratulates him on his election.

The Backstory about Anthony Albanese & the Right to Die

On 22 September 1996, Darwin man Bob Dent became the first person in the world to receive a legal, lethal, voluntary injection under the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act of the Northern Territory of Australia.

Anthony Albanese, is one of the few Australian parliamentarians who were MPs in 1996 and remain in the Federal Parliament today.

In Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart’s book Killing Me Softly, Albanese’s speech against the ‘Kevin Andrews Act‘ was singled out for its eloquence, common sense and passion.

What Anthony Albanese once said about end of life rights

The Euthanasia Laws Act (commonly known as the Kevin Andrews Act) was a conscience vote that outlawed the ability of Australia’s territories to make laws on voluntary euthanasia.

The Andrews Act brought an end to the Northern Territory’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Act that itself was passed as a result of a conscience vote but that was introduced by the government of the then Country Liberal Party, Marshall Perron.

The Rights of the Terminally Ill Act allowed Exit Founder, Philip Nitschke, to help four terminally ill patients to die.

He helped them by building the Deliverance Machine which allowed them to self-administer a lethal dose of Nembutal.

Anthony Albanese made this speech in his first year in the Australian Parliament.

Albanese’s Speech

This debate is hard – real hard. It is hard because it is about death.

Most people are uncomfortable talking about dying … [Yet] this debate, as hard as it may be, is important.

The outcome of this debate will reflect on our maturity both as a parliament and as a nation for it will determine the manner in which we seek to control each other’s lives.

I oppose this bill because I support human dignity.

I oppose this bill because I support freedom of choice.

I oppose this bill because I support civil liberties.

I oppose this bill because my Christian upbringing taught me that compassion is important.

I oppose this bill because modern medical practice should be open and accountable, not covert and dishonest …

I oppose this bill because I oppose the moral posturing of the Lyons Forum.

I oppose the hypocrisy of those who say, ‘This debate is so important’ and then vote to debate it upstairs in sideshow alley.

Most importantly, I oppose this bill for one critical reason, and that is this.

We have all accepted that this parliamentary debate should be a matter for our conscience.

How arrogant to then suggest that the ability to exercise conscience should be taken from a seriously ill patient who wants to die.

There is nothing moral about our exercising a free conscience vote as members of parliament and then voting to deny to others the right to exercise their conscience.

What possible right do Kevin Andrews, Leo McLeay, Lindsay Tanner or Anthony Albanese have to have exercised Bob Dent’s conscience for him?

It was his decision and he had a right to do that.

Source: Australia, House of Representatives, 1996, Speech, Second Reading Euthanasia Laws Bill 1996, p. 5920.