Assisting suicide is illegal in Australia, however prosecutions have been rare.
Right now, patients can elect to not receive any treatment for a terminal illness & can also elect to have their life support turned off. Additionally, it is not a crime for a person to take their own life.
There is divided opinion on whether the right to self-assisted suicide should extend to the vulnerable or mentally infirm. In the Netherlands, there was a contentious event, where an 80 year old woman was pinned by family members, while a doctor injected her with a lethal shot. This was after she had provided an advance directive stating she wanted to be killed “when I myself find it the right time”. When the doctor decided the time had come, the patient woke unexpectedly during the procedure & tried to fight off the doctor. He asked her loved ones to hold her down. A review earlier this year found the doctor had acted in good faith.
Victoria is currently discussing a bill that legalises medically assisted death for those suffering with an advanced and incurable illness, disease or medical condition, who are over the age of 18. Only patients can request for physician assisted suicide, and they would have to make three requests, which must be assessed by two doctors, before they pass the requirements.
Should physician assisted
suicide be legalised?
The Conversation; ‘Safe assisted dying laws are possible, so let’s make them’
The Australian ‘The waiting room: public ahead of doctors in euthanasia debate’
Central Western Daily; ’THE POWER OF NUN: It’s time for a palliative push by NSW’s politicians‘