Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying laws West Australia
The West Australian government says it will take a close look at Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying laws in forming its right-to-die legislation.
It follows a parliamentary committee that received about 700 submissions and held 81 public hearings.
Premier Mark McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook indicated Victoria’s laws, which passed in an Australian first in November last year, would be closely looked at.
“We’re keeping a very open mind,” Mr Cook told reporters on Tuesday.
Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said he personally hadn’t made a decision about his conscience vote.
“I’m going to examine the safeguards,” Dr Nahan told reporters.
“The committee report was wide ranging, they’ve got an excellent person looking at the legislation – we’re treating it objectively.”
While the Greens appeared to support it, Dr Nahan said he “wouldn’t even hazard a guess about the crossbenchers or let alone my own colleagues”.
“There will be people who are against it for a variety of reasons, religious and other reasons, and I come from that direction.
“But nonetheless as someone whose been through the painful death of loved ones, I understand the issues.
“I won’t be an advocate.”
Philip Nitschke, founder of pro-euthanasia group Exit International, said WA should not restrict the laws to those terminally ill or in extreme suffering, or impose arduous requirements to demonstrate eligibility.
Dr Nitschke favors the model in Switzerland, where he traveled in July to support Perth academic David Goodall, who did not have a terminal illness but ended his life at age 104, saying he wasn’t enjoying it anymore.
Go Gentle Australia founder Andrew Denton commended the WA government for its action so far, saying it was crucial safeguards were built into the system.
WA Liberal MP Nick Goiran provided the committee’s only dissenting minority report, saying “assisted suicide” was a “recipe for elder abuse”.
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