As the battle for medical aid in dying becomes increasingly antagonistic, it is worth recalling the speech given in the Victorian Upper House in November 2017 by Hon. Philip Dalidakis.
Philip Dalidakis is a practicing member of the Jewish faith, which, like many Christian groups, opposes voluntary euthanasia. However, as his words below show, this did not prevent him from voting to support their Bill on PAS.
“If we fundamentally believe that each and every person has a right of self-determination within our society, if we believe in democracy, then we have a fundamental belief that people can actually make decisions for themselves, as challenging as those decisions may be and as difficult as those policy issues may be to discuss.
‘Why is it that my faith should somehow have a greater weighting in the decisions that I make as a legislator in comparison to the rights of an individual who may not be of the same faith as me? Why should I allow my faith to dictate to me what is in the best interests of the community over and above the community itself?’”
Can our politicians in New Zealand be equally democratic?