DYING WITH DIGNITY

The Greens (WA) seek to save and preserve life, but we do not believe in forcing people to continue to exist in painful or degrading conditions against their will. When people have a terminal illness and are suffering to such an extent that they no longer wish to live, they should be able to terminate their lives under medical supervision and with their families in attendance or ask consenting medical practitioners to help them terminate their lives.

Aims
The Greens (WA) want:

  • people diagnosed with a terminal illness to be able to die with dignity
  • adults to be able to choose their own care and treatment for a terminal illness
  • hospitals and doctors to be able to support people in their choice of treatments

Measures
The Greens (WA) support legislation that will allow for voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted dying in strictly limited situations, namely when all of the following conditions are satisfied and remain satisfied at all times during the process.
 

  • The applicant is a mentally competent adult (18 years or older) who voluntarily seeks to end their life in the circumstances discussed below
  • The relevant law must set out each and every one of the protections outlined below in order to establish that the application is voluntary and remains so throughout the process
  • The relevant law will only be available to someone who is confirmed by two separate, independent medical practitioners as being in the final stages of a terminal illness
  • The person with the terminal illness must, at the time of application and at all later stages in the process, be currently experiencing pain and suffering associated with that terminal illness

The Greens (WA) support legislation that will:

  • allow a terminally ill adult to end their life with the help of an approved medical professional
  • ensure that the applicant, by reason of pain and suffering associated with a terminal illness, truly wishes to end their life
  • ensure that the time of death is of the applicant’s choosing
  • ensure that the applicant has not been pressured into their decision by family members, carers, medical professionals or any other parties
  • ensure that the approved medical professional to whom the request is made may refuse the request
  • ensure that the applicant is made aware that the approved medical professional to whom the request is made may refuse the request in which case the applicant may approach a different approved medical professional
  • ensure that the applicant is fully informed of the likely progress of the terminal illness, forms of practically available evidence-based treatment and the possible side-effects and outcomes
  • ensure that the applicant has been provided with levels of care, physical support and psychological support that are appropriate to their circumstances
  • ensure that the applicant has attempted all practically available evidence-based treatments and pain management measures, including where relevant, psychological support
  • ensure that an approved medical professional has determined that an applicant’s request is not a direct consequence of a mental disorder
  • limit the application of the legislation to Western Australian residents
  • provide a standard format upon which an application can be made
  • ensure that, when acting in compliance with the legislation, the applicant and any person who deals with or gives effect to a request does not incur any criminal or civil liability and is not liable to any disciplinary proceeding
Authorised by Lynn MacLaren © 2017

Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC - Member for South Metropolitan Region Legislative Council, Parliament of Western Australia