Changes made to death Bill
LAST-MINUTE changes have been made to Victoria’s proposed controversial voluntary assisted dying laws, along with a $62 million palliative care package in a bid to get the Bill through state Parliament.
The Andrews Government yesterday slashed the required life expectancy for terminally ill patients to access the scheme from 12 months to six.
And in an effort to deter “death tourism” people must live in Victoria for at least 12 months before they can apply for the scheme.
“It has become apparent to us over the last couple of weeks that passage through the (Legislative) Council will be more difficult,” Attorney-General Martin Pakula said. “These amendments give the Bill the best chance of passing through.”
Despite the new life expectancy guidelines, patients suffering neurodegenerative conditions with 12 months or less to live will be granted access to the scheme.
After an outcry that the original scheme did not include extra palliative care funding, the Government also announced a $62 million package yesterday.
Currently the Bill has 20 votes of support, but it needs 21 to pass the Upper House.