Supplementary Order Paper No 375

No 375

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

End of Life Choice Bill

Proposed amendment to SOP No 259

Chris Penk, in Committee, to move the following amendment:

Clause 25A

Delete clause 25A (pages 22 and 23).

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper amends Supplementary Order Paper No 259 amending the End of Life Choice Bill by deleting clause 25A (Restrictions on making public details of assisted dying deaths). That clause would seek to conceal the details of certain practices associated with euthanasia and assisted suicide under the assisted dying regime.

Philosophical objections to this attempted concealment can be summarised by the phrase “sunlight is the best disinfectant”, given that possible cases of malpractice may be suppressed by this mechanism.

Practical objections to this attempted concealment include the artificiality of the distinction that is being drawn between some types of publication and others. For example, a person’s place of death could be noted at a eulogy but a recording made of the funeral, without this detail being removed by editing, would breach the law.

Finally, it seems absurd that in clause 25A the maximum fine applying to a body corporation for mere publication (up to $20,000) is twice that which applies to a person who “wilfully fails to comply” with the remainder of the legislation (up to $10,000).