The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill is expected to be debated and voted on as a conscience vote in the Lower House of South Australian Parliament in 2021.
Voluntary euthanasia is an issue with complex medical, ethical, legal and social aspects.
The Bill was introduced into South Australia’s Upper House by Labor legal affairs spokesperson Kyam Maher MLC and Deputy Opposition Leader Susan Close and can be found here.
The Bill provides a framework for terminally ill people to legally access the voluntary assisted dying process and includes more than 60 requirements which must be approved by two separate doctors within a prescribed time frame.
The proposed SA legislation is based on Victorian law – described as the safest and most conservative model in the world. The Bill also allows for conscientious objection by medical practitioners.
Eligibility criteria include:
- Diagnosed with condition that is: incurable, advanced progressive and will cause death in less than 6 months (up to 12 months for neurodegenerative);
- Must have decision making capacity;
- Must be assessed as eligible by two medical practitioners who meet qualification and training requirements;
- Must make a written declaration that is witnessed by a person with no potential gain from the person’s death;
- Must have final review form certified by medical practitioner;
- After all requirements have been satisfied, a VAD permit issued for self (or practitioner) administration.
I have reviewed the legislation and have initially indicated that I will support the Bill in its current form. However, I reserve the right to change my vote if there are concerns the legislation, or further amendments, does not protect vulnerable people.
As your State representative, your views are important to me and I will be engaging in community consultation over the coming months.