Australian state could soon legalise euthanasia

Victoria state could soon legalise voluntary euthanasia for people suffering from serious and incurable conditions.

Published: 09th June 2016 10:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th June 2016 10:33 AM   |  A+A-


MELBOURNE: Australia's Victoria state could soon legalise voluntary euthanasia for people suffering from serious and incurable conditions, according to a report issued on Thursday.

A committee has recommended the Victorian government to legalise assisted suicide. If the landmark recommendations, handed down by the Parliament's Legal and Social Issues committee, are adopted, Victoria would become the first Australian state to legalise assisted dying, the report said.

It comes after 10 months of investigation by the committee, made 49 recommendations covering assisted suicide, Xinhua news agency reported.

Included in the recommendations were changes to the Crime Act designed to protect doctors who act within assisted dying legislation.

"The government should introduce legislation to allow adults with decision-making capacity, suffering from a serious and incurable condition who are at the end of life to be provided assistance to die in certain circumstances," the report said.

The report specified that a doctor must first prescribe a lethal drug which the patient could take without further assistance unless the patient is physically incapable of doing so.

"It is essential that the patient must be experiencing enduring and unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner of which they deem tolerable," it said.

In giving evidence to the committee, cancer patient Sue Jensen, said she hoped the report would make recommendations to allow her to make her own decisions about her life.

"I just want people who disagree with this to respect it's my health, I'm the one that has to live this," she said.

"I am coming to the end of my time and (want) to just end peacefully and not with further trauma for myself or my family."

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed in June 2015 that he does not support voluntary euthanasia but conceded momentum to legalise it was building.

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