Palliative care to remain a priority in Western Australia

WA Health Minister Roger Cook (Wikimedia/Gnangarra)

Regardless of the outcome of the state's euthanasia bill, Health Minister Roger Cook said he wants all West Australians to be able to access quality palliative care. Source: The West Australian.

Set to be debated in Parliament later this year, the bill is in the process of being drafted after a ministerial expert panel delivered a report to Parliament.

The 13-member expert panel, chaired by former WA governor Malcolm McCusker, delivered its final report to State Parliament on June 27. The report contained 31 recommendations for the proposed legislation, from 12 months of community consultation.

It outlined several safeguards which included patient criteria such as being aged over 18, ordinarily residing in WA and assessment by two doctors.

Under the WA plan, a person must have “decision-making capacities” and make three requests, including one in writing witnessed by two people who will not benefit financially from their death. The legislation will be introduced in the WA Parliament in August and MPs will have a conscience vote.

Mr Cook said the debate was “extremely significant” and publicly urged his colleagues across the floor to not derail the debate through “filibustering”.

“No matter the outcome of the voluntary assisted dying bill we want to ensure that all West Australians know about palliative care and can access quality palliative care where and when it’s needed,” he said.

“Personally, I support voluntary assisted dying in certain circumstances and with specific safeguards, as such I plan to use my conscience vote to support safe and compassionate legislation.”

FULL STORY

Palliative care still a priority regardless of voluntary assisted dying bill outcome (The West Australian

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