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Voluntary Assisted Dying

Download the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013 Information on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013

Polling has consistently shown that Tasmanians are supportive of this reform.

They believe that people who have an incurable and irreversible medical condition should not be forced to endure persistent, unrelievable and intolerable suffering against their will.  

What we are proposing is a last resort option for people in specific and restricted circumstances and subject to appropriate safeguards.  Through the process we have put forward in the Bill the eligible person and their primary medical are together to come to the conclusion that there are no treatment options available that may, adequately and to the satisfaction of the eligible person, improve that person’s medical condition or relieve their suffering. 

Who are we to say to an independent, competent adult that has voluntarily, persistently and consistently made a request for assistance to end their life that they must continue to live with pain and suffering, rather than allowing than allowing them to end their life at the time of their choosing? 

From patients, doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals and provders, no one will be compelled to be part of this process.  It is entirely voluntary. 

The Bill we are putting forward is part of a long and thorough process which has involved looking at existing models from around the world that have proven to be safe and effective approaches to helping the small number of people that want to access this kind of assistance.  Our consultation process received over 900 submissions and the feedback from that process has helped inform the development of the Bill. 

The final model has been tailored to Tasmania and includes the best of the safeguards and provisions in place in existing legislation as well as additional provisions to further reduce any potential risks. 

There is no evidence from any international jurisdiction of these laws being abused or of vulnerable people being disproportionately represented in the statistics from overseas.   

I am confident that the model Mr McKim and I have developed can operate safely in Tasmania and will provide peace of mind to a relatively small number of people whose suffering at the end of life cannot be adequately relieved. 

Information on the original consultation process can be found here