Victorian Voluntary Euthanasia Bill is Passed
Late November 2017, Victoria became the first and only state in the country with a euthanasia scheme.
From July 2019, the scheme will be open to terminal patients over 18 years, of sound mind and a life expectancy of less than 6 months and less than 12 months for patients suffering neurodegenerative diseases.
The controversial voluntary assisted dying bill passed both the houses of parliament after more than 100 hours of debate and a raft of amendments.
The legislation includes 68 ‘safeguards’, including new criminal offences to protect vulnerable people from abuse and coercion and a special board to review all cases. To address concerns around ‘euthanasia tourism’ patients must have lived in Victoria for at least twelve months prior to the application.
Alongside this legislative change the Victorian Government has pledged to spend an additional $62 million on palliative care over the next five years and improve access to psychiatric services.
Meanwhile, in NSW, the voluntary assisted dying bill has not passed the Upper House. The bill was subject to lengthy debate and was defeated by one vote.