NSW bill should pass unchanged, deputy Nats leader says

The proposed NSW euthanasia bill allows doctors to initiate a discussion on euthanasia with a patient (Bigstock)

New South Wales deputy Nationals leader Bronnie Taylor says euthanasia laws should pass the state’s Parliament unchanged, while experts have called for amendments to improve a “fundamentally flawed bill”. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

Euthanasia will be legalised in NSW as early as tomorrow when the bill passes the final hurdle in the upper house. NSW will be the last state in the country to legalise euthanasia when the bill passes.

Amendments are likely to focus on accessing euthanasia in aged care homes. However, Ms Taylor said the legislation was “robust” and the bill should now be passed “without amendment”.

Nationals MPs in the upper house, who all support the bill, have indicated they would not support any hostile amendments, with several already proposed by Labor’s Greg Donnelly.

The Catholic and Anglican churches oppose the legislation but while the Uniting Church has not taken a position, it would not prevent its aged care homes from accessing it.

In an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney aged care specialist Dr John Obeid and Melbourne medical oncologist Associate Professor Marion Harris argue three amendments must be passed to “help to improve a fundamentally flawed bill”.

The call for amendments to ensure health professionals are not allowed to suggest euthanasia to someone who hasn’t requested it and that a specialist in the person’s illness must be involved in the process.

They also argue for the right to institutional conscientious objection, with the current bill mandating that euthanasia providers must be allowed into facilities to provide voluntary assisted dying services”.

“These three amendments and others will help to improve a fundamentally flawed bill. When death is at the direction of the state, there is no room for error,” they write.

FULL STORY

Assisted dying bill should pass unchanged, Deputy Nats leader says (By Alexandra Smith, Sydney Morning Herald)

If VAD is to be legalised in NSW, there’s no room for error (Sydney Morning Herald

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