Right to choose next of kin

Bayside and Northern Suburbs Star - - NEWS | OPINION -

ROLF Grub­win­kler com­pletely missed the point with his thoughts on same sex mar­riage (The Star, Septem­ber 20). We are sup­posed to vote on whether same sex cou­ples should be al­lowed to en­ter into a legally bind­ing agree­ment via mar­riage and not to use this op­por­tu­nity to go out of our way to dis­cuss and con­demn same sex re­la­tion­ships. Even if ev­ery sin­gle Aussie was a nay-sayer, this would not change the fact that same sex cou­ples can raise chil­dren and live in re­la­tion­ships with the same rights and obli­ga­tions as any other de­facto cou­ple.

Some peo­ple may not be aware, that while de­facto re­la­tion­ships come with rights and obli­ga­tions, the term 'next of kin' is not legally de­fined in Aus­tralia and may not ap­ply to de­facto cou­ples de­pend­ing on who does the in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

There are oc­ca­sions when this mat­ters a lot.

We should not deny any­body the right to chose legally bind­ing their next of kin, the per­son they trust to make de­ci­sions on their be­half should they no longer be able to do so, and even af­ter they have de­parted this world.

— Re­nate Hottmann-Schae­fer Sandgate

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