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Voluntary Euthanasia Party

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Voluntary Euthanasia Party

Voluntary Euthanasia Party
Convenor Kerry Bromson
Founded 1 June 2013 (2013-06-01)
Ideology Legalisation of voluntary euthanasia
Website
http://vep.org.au
Politics of Australia
Political parties
Elections

The Voluntary Euthanasia Party is a minor political party in Australia, founded in early 2013 by Corey McCann to advocate for legislative change to allow voluntary euthanasia in Australia. The party's inception was strongly supported by Dr Philip Nitschke, director of Exit International and Richard Mills, then President of Dying with Dignity NSW.

The party applied to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to be registered as a political party on 10 May 2013. The application was assessed on 20 May and the party was registered on 1 June.[1]

History

The party was founded in 2013 in order to bring attention to the need for voluntary assisted dying law reform and to bring together advocates from the Dying with Dignity and Exit International movements. The immediate goal of the VEP was to make voluntary euthanasia a central issue at the September 2013 Federal election, and it nominated six candidates for the Senate (two each in New South Wales, the ACT and South Australia); and a candidate for the House of Representatives seat of Solomon in the Northern Territory. Three of the candidates were terminally ill.

Executive Committee

Professor Ranjan Ray, former President of the Western Australia Voluntary Euthanasia Society, was the first convenor of the Party, and was succeeded by Kerry Bromson in 2014. Philip Nitschke, the founder of Exit International, is the Deputy Convenor, and has been since the party's launch in 2013.

Definitions

There is no universally agreed definition of “voluntary euthanasia”. Terms like dying with dignity, physician-assisted dying, physician-assisted suicide and voluntary assisted dying are also used. 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. A doctor may administer the medication or prescribe medication that the patient self-administers.

Election campaigns

Upcoming NSW State Campaign, 2015

In New South Wales, the VEP will be standing candidates for the Legislative Council in the state election on 28 March 2015. The lead candidate for the VEP in the New South Wales state election, 2015 is Shayne Higson. Mrs Higson began advocating for voluntary assisted dying legislation after her mother died from a brain tumour in 2012.[2]

Victorian State Campaign, 2014

The VEP fielded candidates in five Legislative Council (upper house) regions at the Victorian state election on 29 November 2014. The lead candidate for the VEP in Victoria was Dr Fiona Stewart, public health sociologist and co-author of four books about end of life issues including The Peaceful Pill Handbook.[3][4] The VEP received 16,769 first preference votes (0.5 per cent of formal upper house votes) and did not win a seat.[5]

Federal Campaign, 2013

The party nominated several candidates at the 2013 Australian federal election: six candidates for the Senate (two each in New South Wales, the ACT and South Australia); and a candidate for the House of Representatives seat of Solomon in the Northern Territory.[6] Three of the candidates were terminally ill.[7]

Members

The VEP has over 3500 members (current as of February 2015), many of whom are also members of their state dying with dignity branch, voluntary euthanasia organisation and/or Exit International.

References

  1. ^ Application for registration approved – Voluntary Euthanasia Party, Australian Electoral Commission, 1 June 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^
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  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links

  • Official website
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