A group of RMIT advertising students will run a campaign to decriminalise medically assisted death before the Medical Services Bill review in October this year.
The campaign aims to collect signatures to present them to Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
RMIT Masters of Marketing students pitched six different campaigns to Peter Short, a member of Dying with Dignity Victoria. The aim is to implement the winning pitch with the assistance of Peter, later this year.
Director of Exit International, Doctor Philip Nitschke, said the vast majority of Australians think the laws around medically assisted death should be changed.
“People do engage with the topic more as they age,” he said. “So I think there’s an inevitably of changing the insidious law. Medically assisted death does need to move up the list of issues that need to be addressed.”
Nitschke said from a political point of view, more young people need to get involved.
“It’s not a topic which that aged bracket sees as that important,” he said. “Students only think it’s a significant issue as they get older.”
Assisted suicide supporter and writer Peter Short said the group of about 35 RMIT students who presented campaign pitches “reflected empathy towards our cause”.
“I think that if the law changes the baby boomers will be the ones to force it,” Short said. “That said, universities have always been fertile places for change and debate. University students have a broad reach in terms of media exposure and influence.
“As students eventually see their parents checking-out in unacceptable modes they’ll be more and more motivated to change the law.”
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