Euthanasia in the spotlight
The right to die is about to become a State election issue, after three politicians agreed to help develop a Bill with pro-euthanasia doctor Alida Lancee.
Former local government minister Tony Simpson, Upper House Labor candidate Alannah MacTiernan and Greens MP Robin Chapple said yesterday it was time to consider a new assisted dying Bill. It could cover seriously ill people who are expected to die within six months.
Although the Bill would not be introduced until after the March election, Dr Lancee said she would call on all candidates to state how they would vote. She told a packed meeting of the voluntary euthanasia group Dying with Dignity last Thursday that candidates could lose up to 25 per cent of votes if they opposed end-of-life law reform.
All parties had indicated they would allow a conscience vote.
The Perth GP, who has admitted giving a lethal injection to a patient with end-stage emphysema, said she had not been charged, two months after the major crime squad began a homicide investigation.
Mr Simpson, who is a patient of Dr Lancee, said the lead-up to the State election was the time to discuss rightto-die choices.
Ms MacTiernan said it was important early on to limit law reform to cover the dying and not the chronically ill to give it the best chance of success.