Euthanasia Party to field candidates for Federal Election

Voluntary Euthanasia meeting at Cotton Tree Park. Mascot Harriott sits in her wheelchair.
Voluntary Euthanasia meeting at Cotton Tree Park. Mascot Harriott sits in her wheelchair. Kari Bourne

THE right-to-die debate is set to reignite over the coming weeks following the Voluntary Euthanasia Party's decision to field a total of six senate candidates in three states at the July 2 election.

Announcing its candidates yesterday, the VEP said it would not direct preferences to any other parties.

The candidates for New South Wales are photographer Shayne Higson and teacher Janise Farrell; for Victoria, IT professional David Scanlon and psychologist and winemaker Miranda Jones; and for South Australia, retired university program co-ordinator Jessica Knight and building consultant Kym Buckley.

Surveys show three out of four Australians support legislative change allowing voluntary euthanasia.

Ms Higson watched her elderly mother die a painful death from brain cancer.

She said people such as her mother deserved the right to make their own live or die decisions.

"It is our strong belief that dying with dignity should be a basic human right," Ms Higson said.

"The VEP regards voluntary euthanasia as involving a request by a terminally or incurably ill person for medical assistance to end his or her life painlessly and peacefully.

"We need to keep pushing the national debate towards the legalisation of voluntary assisted dying."

Voluntary assisted dying is legal in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and the US states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and California.

Canada is expected to enact legislation in the next week.

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