Victoria makes history. The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed the lower house. If further made into law, Victoria will be the first state in the country to offer assisted dying.
Background on the Historic Bill
Two years of hard work resulted in the passage of the bill. It took several debates, consultations and engagements from various sectors. Members of the Parliament, legal sectors, palliative care providers, health professionals and the community all contributed something to the development of the bill.
Last week, contributions from all sides and sectors proved to be useful. The debates and the Members of Parliament tackled the issue on its merits. As a result, the bill finally got the consideration it deserves.
Previously, polling was made to get the public’s take on euthanasia. The vote showed that 3 out of 4 Australians support the idea of having an assisted dying law.
Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation
The assisted dying bill got a sweeping vote from the Legislative Assembly last week in Victoria. Despite the controversy, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed after a conscience vote. The final vote was 47 to 37.
The bill was passed in the lower house after more than 24 hours of debate. A majority of Labor MPs supported the bill. Other backers include two independents, two Greens and several coalition MPs.
With this vote, the Victorians are a step closer to a law regulating when someone can choose to die. It may be beneficial to those with a terminal illness who prefer to choose how and when they will end their lives.
Safest Assisted Dying Framework
Victoria’s assisted dying bill has 68 safeguards. This makes it one of the most conservative and arguably safest in the world.
The framework passed the Legislative Assembly just last week. A Ministerial Advisory Panel, chaired by neurosurgeon Brian Owler, designed the bill. Mr Owler is the former president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
Still, More Work to Do
Lobbyists consider the passing of the assisted dying bill as a victory. Still, Victorian supporters accept the fact that there still more work to do. It’s still a long way before it can finally become a reality in Victoria.
The bill is set to be debated in the Upper House starting on October 31, 2017. The 40-member Council will tightly debate the pros and cons of the bill, or if amendments are necessary.
If the bill gets through the Upper House, euthanasia will then be legalised in the Australia. Terminally ill people will then be able to have to option of legally ending their severe pain and suffering.