Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — I speak in support of the motion. In the few short months since my election to this place I did not imagine that I would be standing in this place in agreeance with Dr Carling Jenkins and Mr Finn, although I am probably not in total agreeance. But this goes to the basis of this motion, which is that in this place we probably agree on end of life decisions 80 per cent of the time. We want people to have that autonomy and not suffer at end of life. We want people to be able to make those decisions, whether it is about palliative care or advance directives. Most of us in this house are probably in agreeance with a lot of it, although we may not all be in the same place. But we want better palliative care in this state, and we want adults to be able to make decisions about their end of life — about what pain they want to go through.
I, like Ms Hartland, would like to thank Peter Short for his work in getting us to this stage, and I regret that he died before he heard that we are going to have this debate in Victoria, a debate that I believe the Parliament and the community are ready to have. That is exhibited very well when Dr Carling Jenkins and I can be in agreement on this motion and that we are covering all aspects of end of life.
I also commend the work of Ms Hartland in getting us to this place. She has been working on this issue for a very long time. I am happy that finally we are going to have the debate, and I think the community is very ready for this debate. The communications I have had with those in favour of voluntary euthanasia or dying with dignity and those who are opposed to it indicate that everyone wants this debate now. It will be a very good debate. I hope it will be a very respectful debate. No doubt it will be a very intense investigation and we will need resources, because a lot of people have a lot of views on this position.
This motion allows us to look at the very broad end of life questions that no doubt we all will be facing at some stage in the future. I spoke more about my views and my party’s views on this issue a couple of weeks ago, so I finish this contribution by saying I support the motion.