NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation - PJ Keating statement 17 November 2017



TEL:   61 2 9358 5466

FAX:   61 2 9358 5477


PO   BOX 1265





NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017

 Remarks by PJ Keating, 17 November 2017


By a whisker, the NSW upper house has preserved the country’s ethical clarity.


The Council didn’t cave in to the defeatism of those who think the struggle at the end of life is a struggle in vain.


The state should be giving a lead on the optimism of life not the pessimism of suicide.


We have so many young Australians suiciding these days there should be no lesson for them from our state parliaments.


The science is galloping at such a speed in twenty years, the life expectancy for most of us will cross 100 years.  And the same science is rapidly dealing with the pernicious diseases like cancer, cardiac and diabetes.


What the political system should be providing is support, optimism and the facilitation of the complexities at the end one’s life.   We are all going to die and our deaths will always be complex.


But our death amid our modern science will always be more palatable that of our parents and of their parents.


What we need is kindness, compassion and palliative care.


We need our hand held rather than the state giving up on us, by underwriting our ignominious departure.


We need faith in our human experience, and by faith, I mean not religious faith, but faith that goes to the essence of our importance, that goes to who and what we are.


Potts Point

17 November 2017