Judy Ward Dent (23 April 1943— ) is a voluntary euthanasia advocate who lives in the Darwin suburb of Tiwi. The widow of Bob Dent, the first person to die under the Northern Territory's repealed euthanasia laws, she has been President of the Northern Territory Voluntary Euthanasia Society since 1997 and has attended World Federation of Right to Die Societies’ conferences around the world.
Judy was born to a Canadian father and English mother in Brighton, UK. Her birth was featured in the local newspaper: as the first girl born in Brighton on St. George's Day 1943, she was gifted a 100-year-old handmade lace baby bonnet from the Island of Malta. The family moved to Hamilton, Canada two years later in 1945, where Judy went to school and eventually married.
In 1976 and newly separated, Judy settled in Adelaide and worked as a medical technologist. She met Bob Dent later that year. They were married until his death on the 22nd September 1996.
In September 2016, Judy travelled to Melbourne to introduce Dr. Philip Nitschke at "Voluntary Euthanasia to Rational Suicide", a conference run by Exit International (Davidson, 2016).
Judy is outspoken in her criticism of the Federal Parliament for removing territories' rights to legislate on voluntary euthanasia; in January 2021, she was quoted by Roberts as saying that such laws make Territorians "second-class citizens". In September, she used the 25th anniversary of her husband's death to call on Senators to "get on with it and undo the mistake you made in 1997" - ie. restore the Northern Territory's rights to self-legislate on the matter (Jervis-Bardy, 2021).
Davidson, H. (Sep 22, 2016). Philip Nitschke: how the face of the voluntary euthanasia campaign became its outcast. The Guardian: online edition. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/22/philip-nitschke-how-the-face-of-the-voluntary-euthanasia-campaign-became-its-outcast
Jervis-Bardy, D. (Sep 22, 2021). Our Right to Decide: Anniversary prompts call for repeal of ACT and NT euthanasia laws ban. The Canberra Times. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7438791/undo-the-mistake-widow-demands-act-rights/
Roberts, L. (Jan 10, 2021). The NT pioneered voluntary euthanasia before the law was overruled. Now there is a campaign to restore it. ABC News. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-10/nt-voluntary-euthanasia-judy-dent-commonwealth-right-to-die/12820766
Northern Territory Euthanasia Collection - Speech by Marshall Perron on Bob Dent Day, 22 September 2004
Northern Territory Euthanasia Collection - Email from Marshall Perron to Various People, 11 February 2013
Northern Territory Euthanasia Collection - NT Voluntary Euthanasia Society Inc Newsletter, April 2013
Northern Territory Euthanasia Collection - NT Voluntary Euthanasia Society Inc Newsletter, April 2007