Western Australia looks set to legalise voluntary assisted dying. Here’s what’s likely to happen from next week

Western Australia looks set to legalise voluntary assisted dying. Here’s what’s likely to happen from next week

Western Australia is on the brink of becoming the second state in Australia to legalise voluntary assisted dying, with its upper house last night passing the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 (WA).

A total of 55 amendments to the initial version of the bill were passed. The bill will return to the lower house next week to review the amendments.

If these amendments are ratified as expected, WA will follow the historic introduction of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria, where the option has been available since June 2019.

Remind me again, how did we get here?

WA Premier Mark McGowan announced the government’s voluntary assisted dying bill in August 2019.

The proposed legislation was developed after recommendations from a parliamentary inquiry into end of life choices, and subsequent ministerial expert panel on voluntary assisted dying.

After lengthy debate, the bill passed the lower house in September (45 votes to 11).

Debate in the upper house was also extensive, and hundreds of amendments to the bill were proposed. A total of 55 amendments were eventually included, and the bill passed the upper house last night by 24 votes to 11.

What does the proposed legislation permit?

The initial version of the bill featured 102 “safeguards”, including the regulation of access, the request and assessment process, administration and management of the voluntary assisted dying substance, mandatory reporting, protections for health practitioners, and oversight mechanisms.

As outlined in the proposed legislation, to access voluntary assisted dying in WA a person would need ...

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