About Us

DWD Ambassadors

Ambassadors lead the call for law reform

The majority of Australians believe that a person suffering from a terminal illness is entitled to effective treatment of symptoms and should be able to make key decisions about when and how they die.

This majority of about 85% - demonstrated by numerous polls over the last two decades - supports the enactment of legislative change to enable the right to choose the timing and circumstances of one’s death, and to ensure that members of the medical profession and other health carers are not at risk of criminal charges in providing end-of-life assistance.

Parliaments, both Federal and State, must move to enact legislative change to ensure access to and protection of this fundamental human right of choice.

''Our group, SA Nurses Supporting Choices in Dying was formed in South Australia in March 2010 to provide a forum for the nursing voice and perspective on the legislation of voluntary euthanasia and other patient choices in end of life care. We passionately support our patient's right to autonomy throughout every stage of life and most importantly the right to be able to choose the most appropriate when end of life approaches. We believe that voluntary euthanasia should also be included in these choices. We are honoured to be included as Ambassadors for Law Reform''.

Susie Byrne
Convenor, SA Nurses Supporting Choices in Dying

Phillip Adams
Yvonne Allen
Lynette Allison
Prof Dennis Altman AM
Valma Angliss AM
Robyn Archer AO
Bettina Arndt
Brenda Aynsley OAM
Rev Gordon Bannon
Ron Barassi AM
Greg Barns
Prof Peter Baume AC
Layne Beachley AO
Emeritus Prof David Beanland AO
Frances Bedford MP JP
John Bell AO

Casey Bennetto
Trevor Bensch
Henry Bosch AO
Dr Sandra Bradley
Dr Edward Brentnall MBE OAM
Bob Brown
Julian Burnside AO QC
Susie Byrne
Dr Leslie Cannold
Dr Nick Carr
Prof Lyn Carson
Moss Cass
Tricia Caswell
Joy Chambers-Grundy
Prof Simon Chapman AO
Hon Robin Chapple

''My mother, Margaret, died in 1984 when her primary breast cancer metastasised into her lungs. She was just 64. Over about six weeks her breathing became progressively shallow, until over the last long days, she slowly suffocated to death. Oxygen was the only support available to her. She was not in pain, but no palliative care could be offered to relieve her growing panic and confusion. As has often been said, we help our pets to better deaths. I edited a book in 1995, The Last Right: Australians Take Sides on the Right to Die (available free here http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au//bitstream/2123/10762/2/TheLastRight.pdf) where over 60 Australians on different sides of the voluntary euthanasia debate wrote essays''.

Prof Simon Chapman AO
Public health researcher & advocate

Hon Stephen Charles QC
Emeritus Prof Alf Clark
Greg Combet AM
Everald Compton
Peter Couchman
Prof Nick Crofts
Peter Cundall AM
Rev Natasha Darke
Kenneth Davidson
Rev Dr Craig de Vos
Catherine Deveny
Hon John Dowd AO QC
Prof Gary Dowsett
Denise Drysdale

Prof the Hon Gareth Evans
Hon Elizabeth Evatt AC
Dr Ilsa Evans
Dr June Factor
Prof Ross Fitzgerald AM
Tamara Fraser AO
Patrick Galvin AM
Max Gillies AM
Brian Goldsmith
Sandy Gore
John Greenwell
Dr Julian Hafner
Prof George Hampel QC
Peter Hardham

''I support law reform because of the end-of-life experience of my parents, who were both members of DWDV (then VESV). At 85 my father had a massive brain stroke, but his wishes were ignored, until we sought the help of Rodney Syme (see chapter 10 of Rodney’s book A Good Death). My mother had a major stroke at 95 and a doctor ignored her wishes, with the result that she lived (unhappily) to nearly 100. I have told her story in my book: My mother, my writing and me: a memoir''.

Iola Mathews OAM
Author

Robert Hewett
Janet Holmes a Court AC
David Hume and Maya Hume OAM
Dr David Hunt
Peter Isaacson AM
Dr Warren Johnson AM
Rosemary Jones
Hon Sandra Kanck
Prof David Kelly
Stephen Kenny

Hon Steph Key MP
Mary Kostakidis
Assoc Prof Helga Kuhse
Coral Levett MACN
Hon Anne Levy
Dr Murray Lloyd
Amanda Lohrey
Paul McDermott
Lindsay McDougall
Judith McGrath

''I believe that the law should allow each person the freedom to choose how they live their life. This must extend to how their life ends''.

Prof George Williams
Anthony Mason Professor of Law, Uni. of NSW

Prof Peter McIntyre AO
Emeritus Prof Carmel McNaught
Hilary McPhee AO
Hon Rod Mackenzie OAM
Dr Francis Macnab AM
Hon Ian Macphee AO
Prof Marion Maddox
Eve Mahlab AO

Iola Mathews OAM
Ron Merkel QC
Gordon Moffatt AM
Prof Rob Moodie AM
Val Morgan
Hon Jocelyn Newman
Amy Orange

''Two reasons motivate my willingness to be a DWDV Ambassador. Firstly, and obviously, voluntary assisted dying is powerfully justified by some of the rare exigencies of life, namely, pain or suffering without possible relief. I've observed such situations. The second is the important public expression of the fact that medical practitioners, like me, can be found who also see voluntary assisted dying as ethically valid and who support legislation of voluntary assisted dying. This view is contrary to the often-held view that medical professions are opposed to legalisation''.

Prof Emeritus John Willoughby

Prof Neville Pamment
Emeritus Prof Malcolm Parker
Hon Mark Parnell
The Hon Tom Pauling AO QC
Kirk Pengilly
Frank Penhalluriack
Marshall Perron
Anne Phelan OAM

Prof Peter Pierce and Mrs Rae Pierce AM
Adrian Price
Chris Puplick AM
Rev Kenneth Ralph
Bill Richmond
Robert Richter QC
Rev Christopher Ridings
Roland Rocchiccioli

''I became publicly involved in lobbying for assisted dying in 2009 after seeing a photo of Chantal Sebire pleading for assistance to die. Chantal suffered from a rare form of nasal cancer, leaving her blind and her jaw disintegrating. I knew there had to be better ways of dying. I was also aware that opposition by some Christian hierarchy is a major reason why we do not have compassionate choice now. I therefore co-founded Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia, together with Rev Trevor Bensch, to give a voice for the silent majority of Christians who do support this issue''.

Ian Wood
Co-founder Christians for VE Choice

Prof Doreen Rosenthal AO
Dr Harry Rundle
Delys Sargeant AM
Prof Rick Sarre
Hon Chris Schacht
Prof Peter Singer AC
Dick Smith AO
Jim Soorley
Prof John Spicer
Tracey Spicer
Dr John Stanton

Anne Summers AO
Dr Rodney Syme
John Valder AO
Lesley Vick
Rev Dr Craig de Vos
Prof Merrilyn Walton
Dr Bruce Watson
Prof Colin Wendell-Smith AO
Prof George Williams
Emeritus Prof John Willoughby
Ian Wood

Peter Hardham
Lawyer, Human Rights Advocate, former Ombudsman

The reason why I became an Ambassador for DWDV is that I believe that every individual should have the right, where possible, to choose their own dying process, and that this should be done with as much compassion and dignity as possible. It is also my belief that this process should be undertaken with the assistance and guidance of a suitably qualified and experienced member of the medical profession. I believe these views are consistent with the views of members of DWDV.

Meet the Ambassadors