'Strict and cautious' euthanasia laws rolled out in Victoria

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 19 June 2019, 4:46PM

The state of Victoria in Australia has become the first jurisdiction in the country to legalise voluntary assisted dying in 22 years, for those who adhere to strict bureaucratic processes and eligibility requirements.

Melbourne bio-ethicist Courtney Hempton told Kate Hawkesby lawmakers have opted to take a cautious approach, with terminally ill patients having to meet 68 criteria before being eligible.

"They'll be certainly members of the community who want to access to voluntary assisted dying, but won't be able to given some of the safeguards.

"The person must be able to understand information about voluntary assisted dying, retain and weigh that information, and then communicate their decisions."

To qualify, a person must be at least 18 years old with an advanced disease that will likely cause their death within six months, or 12 months for neurodegenerative diseases.

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