WA parliament begins assisted dying debate

The West Australian government has released its proposed safeguards for new assisted dying laws.
The West Australian government has released its proposed safeguards for new assisted dying laws.

VOLUNTARY assisted dying legislation is being debated in the West Australian parliament, with Premier Mark McGowan saying he supports it “through a lens of logic and freedom”.

Under the proposal, terminally-ill adults residing in WA who are in pain and likely have less than six months to live – or one year if they have a neurodegenerative condition – will be allowed to end their own lives or ask a doctor to do it.

The legislation includes 102 safeguards including soundness of mind, no coercion and a minimum of two independent medical assessments.

Mr McGowan said it was an intrinsically hard debate to have as death was a difficult topic, but it was inevitable, important to discuss and required courage.

He said he backed the bill because dying people deserved a means to not suffer unnecessary pain while family should not have to witness horrible suffering or find their loved one after they had taken their own life.

“Finally, I believe it is an issue of logic and freedom of choice,” he said.

“This is the ultimate act of personal choice, of freedom, of individual rights.”

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