Independent MP Kate Chaney is calling on the federal Parliament to back her push to overturn a ban on telehealth consultations for people wanting to access voluntary euthanasia services. Source: ABC News.
Ms Chaney introduced a private member’s bill to the House of Representatives yesterday, arguing some Australians were missing out on medical advice because of an inconsistency between state, territory and Commonwealth laws.
Last year, the Federal Court ruled voluntary assisted dying appointments could not be conducted through telehealth consultations, as they triggered provisions in the Commonwealth Criminal Code making it illegal to incite suicide over a carriage service such as phone or video calls.
Voluntary assisted dying is legal in all six Australian states, under varying regimes, and the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory governments are considering the issue.
The Member for Curtin said her proposal “doesn’t repeal the section that says that you can’t use a carriage service to promote suicide”.
“It just says that voluntary assisted dying, in accordance with a state framework, doesn’t constitute suicide,” Ms Chaney said.
She said the Albanese Government was well aware of the issue and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus had committed to considering her bill.
Late last year, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the issue had not been raised with him by any state governments.
“My personal opinion is that these issues are serious and that telehealth should not be used because I’d be concerned about some of the implications there,” he told Melbourne radio station 3AW in December.
MP pushes to legalise telehealth consultations on voluntary assisted dying (By Matthew Doran, ABC News)