As WA legislated for voluntary assisted dying, Neil O'Riordan appeared before the coroner

December 11, 2019

Yesterday in Western Australia, their parliament legislated for voluntary assisted dying. Soon, WA citizens with a disease likely to cause death in six to 12 months will be able to legally end their life at a time of their choosing.

Yesterday in the ACT, Canberra man Neil O'Riordan appeared before the coroner, who found that his wife Penelope - who had motor neurone disease - had died by suicide, and Neil had helped her prepare for it.

Following her death, Neil was arrested and charged, and taken to Woden Police Station. He didn't have an opportunity to spend time with family and friends - and nor did they have an opportunity to say farewell to Penelope. The charges were eventually abandoned.

The differences demonstrated yesterday between WA and the ACT could not be more stark. And it's all because we're a Territory, not a State. It's all because the Federal Government enacted legislation which forbids Territories from legislating for voluntary assisted dying.

This has to change. Join our voices here:

You can read more about Neil O'Riordan's story via The Canberra Times here.