Western Australia set to debate euthanasia


A joint select committee for the parliament of Western Australia has published a report recommending that the state government introduce a bill to legalise “assisted dying”.

The report was authored by seven politicians from across the political spectrum and reviews the provision and regulation of end of life care in Australia and abroad, as well as summarising contributions made during an extended period of public consultation. The report contains a recommendation that they government sponsor a bill to legalise “voluntary assisted dying” for patients who are:

...experiencing grievous and irremediable suffering related to an advanced and progressive terminal, chronic or neurodegenerative condition that cannot be alleviated in a manner acceptable to that person, where death is a reasonably foreseeable outcome of the condition.

Interestingly, this is much broader than current Victorian law which only allows euthanasia and assisted suicide for patients with a terminal illness.
The report asserts that “there are many life‐limiting conditions that cause profound suffering that cannot be completely palliated”, and that “current lawful options available to people experiencing grievous and irremediable suffering at end of life are inadequate”.

Yet the document tabled in parliament also contains a minority report by Liberal MP Nick Goiran, describing the recommendations of the report as a “recipe for elder abuse”. Goiran argues that overseas experience, and experience from the short-lived Northern Territory euthanasia regime, indicates that “the risks of legalising assisted suicide (however described or defined) are too great as the consequences are final”.

The government of Western Australia has accepted the report, and says it will consider drafting legislation. Premier Mark McGowan is personally in favour of euthanasia and assisted suicide, though he noted that he was just “one vote out of many”.




MORE ON THESE TOPICS | assisted dying, assisted suicide, assisted suicide safeguards, euthanasia, western australia

This article is published by Xavier Symons and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

 
 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed

 
comments powered by Disqus