Euthanasia became a legal act in Australian Victoria, parliament has legalised voluntary assisted dying. It ends a parliamentary process that took 2.5 years.
Victoria is the first Australian state where the legislation soon will allow a voluntary assisted dying, the legislation will now go through an 18-month implementation period before it comes into effect in June 2019.
According to the new bill, the patient must administer the drug themselves, but a doctor can deliver the lethal dose in rare cases where someone was physically unable to end their own life. Under the legislation, Victorians with a terminal illness will be able to obtain a lethal drug within 10 days of asking to die, after completing a three-step process involving two independent medical assessments.
Fiona Patten, an upper house MP, was one of the key proponents of the idea, so bill’s passing overwhelmed her. While the upper house passed the legislation one week ago 22 votes to 18 after a marathon debate, a number of amendments were made which had to pass the lower house.
“It’s very clear the vast majority of Victorians are happy the parliament has done this work,”
Ms Patten said.
“I don’t think I ever believed that having the privilege of being a member of parliament would lead to initiating and passing laws like this. It’s pretty amazing there have been moments throughout this debate where I wasn’t sure that I believed it would pass,”
the opponent of the voluntary assisted dying’s legalisation added.
The professional opinion of neurosurgeon Prof Brian Owler is different. A former Australian Medical Association president who chaired the independent ministerial advisory panel on voluntary assisted dying, said they were amendments he “could live with”.
“I’m obviously very pleased today that it’s through and I think a lot of people will be pleased that it has passed, but there are also mixed feelings,”
a doctor told Guardian Australia.