The West Australian Government was last night preparing to introduce a euthanasia bill almost identical to Victorian legislation. Source: The Australian.
The McGowan Labor Government proposes laws that would apply to terminally ill people with six months or less to live, unless the person had a neurodegenerative condition such as Parkinson’s or Motor Neurone Disease, in which case they would be eligible if their life expectancy was a year or less. They must be deemed capable of making their own decisions at every step, and doctors who assess requests will be trained to detect coercion.
If the bill becomes law, WA would be the second state in Australia to legalise euthanasia after Victoria in 2017.
MPs will be given a conscience vote and the bill is expected to encounter strident opposition in the upper house.
A person must be 18 years or older, an Australian citizen or permanent resident and they need to have lived in WA for a year before they can be eligible. The person who wants to die must make one written and two verbal requests. They would be assessed by two independent doctors. A five-person board would be informed of each step in the process.
The person would be allowed to die using lethal medication from an approved list. This could be taken orally or intravenously. The person can administer the lethal drug to themselves, or it can be done by a doctor or a nurse practitioner, which is a senior nurse with special qualifications.
While the Victorian legislation bans doctors from raising the option of euthanasia with their patients, the WA bill permits this.
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