by Paul RussellNews Weekly
New Voluntary Euthanasia Bill in SA
, April 21, 2001
In March this year, Democrat MLC Sandra Kanck and former Liberal MP Bob Such simultaneously introduced yet another Voluntary Euthanasia Bill into both houses of the South Australian Parliament. The Orwellian title "Dignity in Dying", given the Bill's subject, typifies the sleight-of-hand tactics that have characterised the debate over the last six years.
In the midst of the media hubbub, Adelaide's Sunday Mail opinion columnist, Andrew Holman, summed up the concerns of many South Australians:
"Here we have a crisis with the Australian dollar, problems with unemployment, people living in poverty etc, etc, and along comes one Democrat in our own backyard - SA Deputy Leader Sandra Kanck - who says she wants euthanasia to be an election issue. Get real."
Holman described Ms Kanck's Bill as "a personal crusade which will clog parliamentary processes like a bad case of constipation".
Senior Liberal Party officials are expressing concern as to what effect the passage of this Bill will have on their chances of re-election. They believe that allowing debate on issues such as euthanasia in an election year is tantamount to electoral suicide.
This, at a time when the Upper House is already embroiled in a protracted debate over the Government-sponsored Prostitution Regulation Bill 2000.
With recent opinion polls pointing to the possibility of an ALP victory in the next election, it remains to be seen whether or not Premier Olsen and his deputy, Rob Kerin, will risk allowing time for the Kanck Bill to be debated.