LABOR CONTINUES TO STAND UP TO GIVE DYING AUSTRALIANS THE RELIEF THEY NEED
Labor has once again voted to ensure that dying Australians have access to pain relief to ease their suffering, voting with the Senate to give people with a terminal illness better access to medicinal cannabis.
Labor knows this is an issue of compassion – while we wait for the Turnbull to act on medicinal cannabis, terminally ill patients will continue to suffer.
In June, the Senate voted to disallow the Government’s restrictions on access to medicinal cannabis under Category A of the Special Access Scheme- this should have resolved this issue. Terminally ill patients should have had easier access to a prescribed therapy that can ease their suffering.
But what we have seen from this Government in the months since June is an attempt to block the Parliament’s will, and to continue deny relief to dying Australians.
Turnbull should be doing everything he can to expand patient access to medicinal cannabis, not hiding behind technicalities.
It says everything about Turnbull that instead of helping Australians with terminal illness and their families, he prioritised finding a way to get around the Senate’s decision to give dying Australians access to the pain relief they need.
Access to Category A has always been tightly restricted to people with a terminal illness – and only if it is clinically appropriate.
The passage of the Bill today puts us back on the right track, but Labor knows that much more needs to be done to ensure safe and timely access to medicinal cannabis across Australia, when it is clinically appropriate.
We now call on the Government to allow a vote on this Bill in the House.