Euthanasia

On September 22, 2010 WA parliamentarians voted against Robin Chapple's Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2010, a Bill for an Act to provide for the administration of voluntary euthanasia.

11 MPs voted for the Bill and 24 voted against.

Information about the bill and safeguards.

THE PERSON SEEKING TO END THEIR LIFE MUST:

    • Be of sound mind
    • Be at least 21 years of age
    • Have a medically diagnosed terminal illness that will cause their death within 2 years of the date on which their request for euthanasia is made.
    • Be experiencing pain, suffering or debilitation that is considerable and related to the terminal illness.
    • Be a resident of Western Australia, and having been a resident for at least three years prior to the application for euthanasia.

    THE APPLICATION MUST:

    • Be made in writing, in the form set out in the Bill.
    • And be witnessed by 2 independent and unrelated people.

    MEDICAL PRACTITONERS

    • In order for an application to be progressed, it must be referred first to an independent medical practitioner, who becomes known for the Act as the “applicant’s medical practitioner.”
    • The applicant’s medical practitioner must ensure the person is aware of palliative care options and the availability of counselling and other support services before assessing the request.
    • The applicant’s medical practitioner and another independent medical practitioner must then assess the request
    • These independent medical practitioners must ensure the person’s request is not wholly or substantially attributable to a state of clinical depression.
    • These independent medical practitioners must also ensure the person’s request is not wholly or substantially motivated by a desire to cease to be a burden, and that they have made the request voluntarily.
    • The applicant’s medical practitioner and a third, new independent medical practitioner must be present at the time of the administration of euthanasia.

    OTHER SAFEGUARDS

    • A person may revoke their request at any time.
    • A person’s request lapses immediately the applicant’s medical practitioner concludes an applicant has ceased to be of sound mind.
    • Medical practitioners, witnesses and any others involved, provided they comply with the Act, will not incur any criminal or civil liability.
    • A person who does anything required or permitted under the Act, forfeits any direct or indirect financial or other benefit that would otherwise have come to them as a result of the death of the applicant.

For more information and to see a copy of the entire Voluntary Euthanisia Bill 2010, please go to Robin Chapple's website here