Assisted dying laws pass WA Parliament

Western Australia has legalised voluntary assisted dying, with the laws officially passed by State Parliament on 10 December 2019.

 

The laws give Western Australians who are terminally ill the right to end their suffering at a time of their choosing while ensuring that the necessary protections and approvals for these decisions are in place.

 

The final passage of the legislation followed a lengthy debate, with more than 180 hours in State Parliament spent debating the Bill - more than 76 in the Legislative Assembly and 105 in the Legislative Council.

 

The Bill was the result of two years of clinical and legal scrutiny.

 

Health Minister Roger Cook said, "This is a watershed moment in our State's history - I commend my parliamentary colleagues for having the courage to pass these laws which will enable choice for people who are suffering at the end of their life.

 

"The carriage of this Bill through both houses of Parliament pays testament to the overwhelming support for voluntary assisted dying that exists in the community.

 

"This Bill has resulted in fully informed, compassionate and workable legislation which recognises the importance of giving people at the end of their life genuine choice.

 

"All Western Australians are entitled to access to high-quality end of life care and we will continue to actively engage with health professionals and the wider community to make sure that these laws are implemented effectively and safely."

 

 

The laws will take effect following an 18-month implementation phase and formation of an implementation panel.

 

The panel will oversee development of clinical guidance, medication protocols and training for participating health practitioners, as well as information for the community and health professionals.

 

More information can be found at http://www.health.wa.gov.au/voluntaryassisteddying

 

11 December 2019.