Final Report defines bill for Victorian Parliament
The Victorian Ministerial Advisory Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying Final Report has made 66 recommendations around the drafting of a voluntary assisted dying law. The Panel, was headed by Professor Brian Owler, the immediate past President of the Australian Medical Association. Dr Owler said the Victorian model was closest to the system in the US state of Oregon, which had operated for 20 years, where just 0.39 per cent of all deaths were medically assisted. He said “We think that this model, which we acknowledge is the most conservative model for assisted dying in the world, is the right model for Victoria.”
To be eligible for an assisted death, people must be able to fulfil all seven key eligibility criteria:
•Be an adult, 18 years and over
•Be ordinarily a resident in Victoria and an Australian citizen or permanent resident
•Have decision-making capacity in relation to voluntary-assisted dying and
•Be diagnosed with an incurable disease, illness or medical condition, that:
- – Is advanced, progressive and will cause death; and
- – Is expected to cause death within weeks or months, but not longer than 12 months; and
- – Is causing suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner that the person deems tolerable
Anyone who requests to die will be required to create a written declaration of his or her enduring request, which will also be witnessed by two independent witnesses – neither witness can be in a position where they can financially benefit from the person’s death. Only the patient can initiate a request for assisted dying, and the person must be assessed by two doctors, one which must be an expert in the person’s particular illness. The drug will be self-administered after being dispensed from a compounding chemist.
The Victorian Government will consider the Panel’s Final Report in shaping its Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill. The bill is due to be introduced to Members of Parliament for a conscience vote later this year. If the bill passes, the Panel has recommended an 18-month period prior to commencement to allow sufficient time for establishment of the voluntary assisted dying framework.
The video above is from Chanel 10’s The Project 21 July 2017 (4.06 mins) interviewing Elizabeth Short, wife of the late Peter Short, discussing her reaction to the announcement of the draft bill and whether it would help people like Peter.
On 8 December, 2016 Premier Daniel Andrews announced the establishment of the Ministerial Panel to draft a voluntary assisted dying law for Victoria, based upon the assisted dying framework outlined in Recommendation 49 in the Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee’s Inquiry into end of life choices Report June 2016- click for Parliament of Victorian Legal and Social Issues Committee Final Report on End of Life Issues June 2016