Compassion and respect

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill

This page will soon be updated when we have details of the proposed 2015 Bill. 

You can see some news here with a September update.

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013 failed to pass by one vote following the debate on 16 and 17 October 2013 in the Tasmanian House of Assembly.  All 10 Liberal MPs and 3 of the 10 Labor MPs voted against the Bill at the Second Reading stage, preventing a full debate on the detailed provisions of the Bill.

There’s a report on the debate and vote in the February 2014 newsletter.  Hansard of the debate can be accessed from the Tasmanian Parliament website.

The Bill followed a public consultation process started on 3 February 2013 when they  issued both a long discussion paper and a shorter companion paper for public consultation. DwDTas also prepared a very brief summary.  The Bill was very similar to the detailed proposal

We are very pleased that key DwDTas recommendations were accepted as made in our submission.  The Bill  included a ‘last resort option’ for those people who have incurable and irreversible medical conditions, but whose conditions are not expected to cause their death, and who also have persistent and unrelievable suffering that they find intolerable.

We  expressed concern that the proposed waiting periods may be too long in some circumstances, for example, if a person’s condition has deteriorated quickly and their suffering has suddenly increased to become unbearable.  We  recommended inclusion in the legislation of provisions for shorter waiting periods in exceptional circumstances.  The Bill included a waiting period of at least 7 days, rather than 14 days as originally proposed, between the person’s written request for assisted dying and the subsequent oral request.  There could however be a longer wait before a prescription can be written because there is also a requirement that the second doctor’s medical report must also have been received by the person’s treating doctor.

As argued in the consultation paper, the Bill did not include access to voluntary assisted dying through an advance care directive after the person has lost competence.

DwDTas

Dying with Dignity Tasmania

P O Box 1022,
Sandy Bay,
Tas 7006,
Australia

Tel. 0450 545167

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