Another Australian state legalizes voluntary euthanasia – the Indian Panorama

Brisbane (TIP): Voluntary euthanasia became legal in a fifth Australian state on September 16, more than 20 years after the country repealed the world’s first compassionate killing law for the terminally ill.

The Queensland Parliament passed the law with 61 of the state’s 93 lawmakers voting in favor.

New South Wales, the most populous state in the country, is now the only state that does not allow assisted suicide.

The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory do not have the same rights as states and the Federal Parliament has prohibited them from passing such laws.

Queensland law, which comes into force in January 2023, allows people with an advanced, progressive and terminal illness or condition to have access to what is known as voluntary assistance in dying .

It is to be expected that their condition will cause death within a year, that they will have the capacity to make decisions and that they will act without restraint.

Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles has said the law will relieve pain and suffering.

“It was a very thoughtful debate and… it was a very difficult debate,” Miles told Parliament.

Opponents argued that due to a lack of funding for palliative care, the law would pressure some patients to end their lives.

“Will this government provide a guarantee that people will have access to quality integrated palliative care services wherever they live in Queensland, when they have a terminal diagnosis, and not just in the last few months of their life ? said Opposition MP Fiona Simpson.

But Miles said palliative care and voluntary assisted dying are complementary policies that provide more options for people who are terminally ill.

The sparsely populated Northern Territory in 1995 became the first jurisdiction in the world to legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. But the Australian Parliament overturned the law in 1997 after four people were helped to die.

The federal Parliament does not have the same power over the six states, and Victoria became the first to legalize assisted suicide in June 2019.

The New South Wales Parliament rejected a bill on assisted suicide with a single vote two weeks before the Victorian law was passed. PA

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