NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill Pledged Before State Parliament

The right to die


Article heading image for NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill Pledged Before State Parliament

News Corp

An "historic" day for New South Wales as a Voluntary Assisted Dying bill is introduced into state parliament on Thursday.

Drafted by Independent for Sydney Alex Greenwich with the support of 28 MPs from across the political divide, the bill will bring NSW into line with other states.

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"The bill will create a safe framework for people who are in the final stages of a terminal illness and who are experiencing cruel suffering that cannot be relieved by treatment or palliative care," he implored, "to be provided with the choice to die peacefully".

Mr Greenwich delivered a petition of more than 100,000 signatures to the State Parliament supporting the legislation.

"We have all heard the calls from the community that people with a terminal illness in New South Wales deserve the choice of having a peaceful end of life rather than a cruel and painful one," Mr Greenwich said.

"I call on all members of this house and all the other place, to listen to the genuine calls of those who are cruelly dying, and give them the choice, comfort and dignity that they deserve".

Calling for multi-partisan support to deliver a respectful debate of the bill through the parliament by the end of the year, Mr Greenwich, said hopes everyone carries an open mind.

“There will be members who are obviously going to be opposing this reform, and they will come from a really genuine position, a faith position, no doubt,” he said.

“I want to work with them and see if we can address any of their concerns... if a member does have a concern that they feel can be addressed through an amendment, then that amendment will be seriously considered”.

Not dissimilar to voluntary assisted dying models across other states, the eligibility criteria will follow a similar law.

If passed the bill will only be available to eligible people who suffer from an incurable and terminal illness, disease, or condition.

Eligibility for the scheme will include:

  • limited to NSW residents who are over 18
  • With an advanced, progressive condition that will cause death within six months, causing intolerable suffering.
  • Three requests made
  • Assessed as eligible by two senior doctors  

The bill will also permit health professionals to exercise their right to conscientiously object to euthanasia and instead refer patients to other institutions.

If passed, the Bill will bring New South Wales into alignment with Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, and Queensland as the sixth Australian state to deliver a voluntary assisted dying scheme.

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14 October 2021

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