In a media release dated 12 November 2018 the McGowan Labor Government has formally announced its intention to “introduce a Bill into State Parliament to legalise voluntary assisted dying in Western Australia.”
The Bill will be drafted in consultation with a panel of 11 experts who are tasked with providing “advice to government on a safe and compassionate framework for voluntary assisted dying in Western Australia”.
This follows the recommendation by the majority of the Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices in its majority report, My Life, My Choice that an assisted suicide framework even more radical than the Victorian scheme be established. Rather than limiting access only to people with terminal illness it is proposed to include chronic and neurodegenerative conditions “where death is reasonably foreseeable as a result of the condition”. In Canada similar phrasing has already been interpreted by the Ontario Supreme Court as applying to a 77 year old woman with osteoarthritis – a non-fatal condition.
Additionally doctors who object to assisted suicide will be forced to refer to a doctor willing to assist suicide.