The Northern Territory is to begin work on its own voluntary euthanasia laws, more than 25 years after its pioneering legislation was struck down by the Commonwealth. Source: Canberra Times.
The NT became the first Australian jurisdiction to make voluntary euthanasia legal in 1995 but the provisions were overturned by former prime minister John Howard’s coalition government two years later.
Since then all six states have passed their own laws and the NT now has the opportunity to follow suit after the Commonwealth’s ability to override local legislation was repealed last year.
NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said a community consultation process would be conducted to help develop a framework for voluntary euthanasia under the guidance of an expert advisory panel.
“Voluntary assisted dying is a complex issue and one that many people feel passionate about,” Ms Fyles said.
“It can be a sensitive and confronting topic for many people so it is important that any future legislation is done through intensive and thorough consultation with all Territorians.”
Former NT administrator Vicki O’Halloran and senior counsel Duncan McConnel have been appointed as co-chairs of the expert panel with applications open for other members.
They will be chosen based on their expertise in end-of-life health care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural matters, justice, and social welfare policy.
The panel will be required to present a report to the Government by July next year.
NT looks to reinstate voluntary assisted dying laws (Tim Dornin, AAP via Canberra Times)
On euthanasia, why do we endanger our most vulnerable children? (The Australian)