Charles Darwin University

Arafura Research Archive

CDU Staff and Student only

Northern Territory Euthanasia Collection - Report to Aboriginal Reference Group: Rights of the Terminally Ill Act Education Program, 9 July 1996

Document type: Archives
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your CDU eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Download this reading CDU_ARA_14_024_023_ARG9July96.pdf Published version application/pdf 1.17MB 20
Reading the attached file works best in Firefox, Chrome and IE 9 or later.

Collection number 14-024
Collection title Northern Territory Euthanasia Collection - Report to Aboriginal Reference Group: Rights of the Terminally Ill Act Education Program, 9 July 1996
Date range (approx.) 9 July 1996
Shelf meters (approx.) 0.001
Scope and contents Comments and feedback on the delivery of education programs about the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities. The ARG was composed of public servants from Health, Chief Minister's and Attorney General's departments.
Record Type Research and other papers
Physical description Two A4 pages
Language English
Language code eng
Collection created by Neil Bell
Biographical history The Northern Territory was the first jurisdiction in the world to explicitly legalise euthanasia. The Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995 (NT) entered into law on 1 July 1996. The following year the Commonwealth Parliament intervened to overturn the Act. Section 50A was added to the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 to prohibit the Northern Territory from making laws in respect of euthanasia. The Rights of the Terminally Act was in force for 9 months, during which time four people died by medically assisted suicide through its provisions.
Provenance The NT Euthanasia Collection contains donations from a number of contributors. This item was donated by Mr Neil Bell, who asked that the following statement be included with his material: "I have no regrets about opposing euthanasia when I was asked by the journalists what I thought of it. I came to that conclusion because of the “slippery slope” argument: that a right to die can too easily become a duty to die by the expectants putting pressure on the terminally ill i.e. those who will inherit asking the elderly to shuffle off this mortal coil so they can get their hands on the inheritance. What I do have regrets about is that I was forced into the front line by the CLP opponents of euthanasia who were caught in the bind between their opposition to voluntary active euthanasia and their loyalty to Marshall Perron who saved their seats in 1990 and 1993 by a well-targetted campaign of dummy questions by phone to electors in key northern suburbs seats, saying a vote for the ALP was a vote for Aboriginal land rights. (For details of this campaign, see my paper Race and Electoral Strategy in the Northern Territory With the benefit of hind sight, I perhaps should have boycotted the vote on euthanasia and focussed on the main game by reminding the electorate of the reason for this indulgence of Marshall Perron’s divisive strategies."
Subjects Aboriginal responses to euthanasia debate
Law and legislation
NT statehood
Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995 (NT)
Names (person) Chips Mackinolty
Names (organisation) Aboriginal Reference Group
Territory Health Services
Places Arnhem Land
Northern Territory
Port Keats
Box list available? n/a
Item list available? n/a
Conditions governing access Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers are advised that this item may contain images or names of people who have since passed away
Related material Please see folder list for the NT Euthanasia Collection (link below)
Location Arafura Research Archive. Please contact the Archivist on (08) 8946 7794 or at for more information
Institution Charles Darwin University, Darwin
Open access Yes
Description for Link 1. Please see folder list for the NT Euthanasia Collection (link below)
2. Transcript of Mr Mackinolty's appearance before the Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee - 13/02/1997 (Euthanasia Laws Bill 1996)

© copyright

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in CDU eSpace. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact

Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 65 Abstract Views, 20 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Tue, 11 Jul 2017, 10:12:09 CST by Mary Paton