Andrews considers extra safeguards to assisted dying laws

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is willing to consider increased safeguards to the state’s assisted dying laws in order to secure the bill’s passage through parliament, The Weekend Australian reports.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Mr Andrews said Labor would work with upper house MPs seeking additional protections to make the laws more conservative.

“The time has come for us to put in place this system with all the safeguards inherent within it, because Brian Owler and his expert panel have done a great job in putting together the safest, the most conservative scheme anywhere in the world,” Mr Andrew said.

“Some people may need further comfort to make it even more conservative, we’ll work with them in good faith. And let’s hope we’ll have an outcome at the end of the day that gives comfort to those Victorians who have for too long been denied a dignified and compassionate mechanism to end their intolerable suffering.”

Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying bill has passed the lower house and is now being considered by the state’s upper house. The bill has passed the second reading stage in the upper house and is being examined, clause by clause, in the committee stage ahead of a final vote.

Meanwhile, The Australian reports Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe has made a submission to a West Australian parliamentary committee examining whether euthanasia should be legalised in the state.

In his submission, Archbishop Costelloe argues that any move to legalise euthanasia must be rejected and parliament should instead strengthen legal protections for medical professionals involved in end-of-life treatments.

He says the safety and security of society rests heavily on propositions enshrined in law, including that one person must not kill another.

“If a parliament were to legalise ‘assisted dying’, it would create a fundamental and irreversible breach in this foundational principle of social order,” he said. “Regardless of any ‘safeguards’ it may place around such a law, no parliament can guarantee its citizens that a future parliament will not vary those safeguards and extend the reach of that law to even more classes of citizens.

“Indeed, since any restriction on access to ‘assisted dying’ could be characterised as discriminatory, future parliaments will almost certainly be obliged to extend its reach.”

FULL STORY

Victorian Premier considers increased safeguards for euthanasia bill (The Weekend Australian)

Vulnerable citizens at risk of legislative creep, warns Perth archbishop (The Australian)

RELATED COVERAGE

Kevin Andrews still firm on stopping euthanasia in the Northern Territory (NT News)

Poll shows assisted dying support high (News.com.au)

High stakes in voluntary assisted dying debate (Sydney Morning Herald)

Patient’s recovery convinces doctor to fight euthanasia laws (The Weekend Australian)

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