Following on from the release of reports and draft legislation related to assisted dying, both the NSW and Victorian Parliaments are currently in the process of considering assisted dying Bills: the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (NSW) ('the NSW Bill') and the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (Vic) ('the Victorian Bill').
The Victorian Bill is informed by a report from the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying which was released on 25 January 2017. The specific provisions of the Victorian Bill provide:
The NSW Bill was initially a draft bill, which was produced by a cross-party working group. The specific provisions of the NSW Bill are:
The Bills have been controversial, with both vocal support and opposition in the media. In NSW, Trevor Khan MP, member with carriage, said in his Second Reading speech:
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessey said in her speech in the Victorian Parliament:
However, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also indicated her opposition to the NSW Bill,:
NSW Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Health, Walt Secord also, saying that it would be difficult to have sufficient safeguards to prevent abuses of the laws.
NSW Opposition Leader,:
There has also been an issue raised about possible Commonwealth protections with regards to Medicare Benefits. At the moment the Medicare Benefits schedule explicitly excludes euthanasia and the drugs proposed to be used are also currently listed without government subsidy. Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy‘would be a requirement to talk to the Commonwealth about these things’.
If either of the Bills are to be passed, an application to have euthanasia services funded by the government would have to be made to the Medical Services Advisory Committee.
TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.
Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (NSW), and second reading speech as published on Timebase LawOne.
Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (Vic), and second reading speech as published on Timebase LawOne.
Sean Nicholls, ‘,’ (Sydney Morning Herald) 26 September 2017.
Sarah Hawke, ‘,’ (ABC News) 21 September 2017.
Perry Duffin, ‘’ (news.com.au) 4 September 2017.
Gay Alcorn and Melissa Davey, ‘(The Guardian Australia) 13 September 2017.
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