Jan 19, 2017

Victorian Parliament to Vote on Euthanasia Bill

It was looking grim for the bill to legalise euthanasia after being overturned by the South Australian parliament a few weeks ago. This was the 15th time the Bill had been rejected in South Australia.

However, in Victoria it looks like there may be a change with a vote happening next year.

If passed, Victoria could be the first state to legalise assisted suicide. However, it would only be available to Victorian residents. The first half of 2017 will be spent drafting the bill with the assistance of an expert panel.

In the later half of 2017 the Victorian Government will introduce a bill with all members of parliament granted a conscience vote on the matter. However, should the laws be passed, they would not come into effect until 2019. This is because an 18-month delay has been recommended after the laws are passed.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is backing the legislation.

He was previously against the idea of assisted suicide. However, he had a change of heart after his father, Bob Andrews, died earlier this year.

The Andrews Government said the proposed laws would allow adults with “decision-making capacity” assistance in dying under the condition that they are at the end of their lives and suffering from a terminal illness.

Though the bill hasn’t been drafted yet, the laws are likely to require two doctors to sign off on any plan a patient may have for assisted suicide. This would involve taking a lethal tablet.

If the patient is unable to physically take a table, then they would be assisted by a doctor.

Do you think Victoria should pass the bill? What are your thoughts on the 18 month delay?

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