Euthana­sia new prac­tice: AMA

The West Australian - - NEWS - Dy­lan Ca­porn

WA may need to cre­ate a dif­fer­ent type of prac­ti­tioner for ad­min­is­ter­ing vol­un­tary euthana­sia, the Aus­tralian Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion’s WA branch will sug­gest to a Par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee to­day.

AMA WA pres­i­dent Dr Omar Khor­shid told The West Aus­tralian yes­ter­day that the sug­ges­tion, which stemmed from a sym­po­sium the or­gan­i­sa­tion held on the di­vi­sive vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing is­sue, was an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion in the de­bate about the role of doc­tors in end-of-life choices.

Con­cern was raised by AMA mem­bers that doc­tors have a re­spon­si­bil­ity af­ter tak­ing the Hip­po­cratic oath, and ad­min­is­ter­ing a euthana­sia drug would come into con­flict with that.

“There is a view, amongst some of the doc­tors at the sym­po­sium and the AMA coun­cil, that vol­un­tary euthana­sia is not medicine and that some­one else AMA WA pres­i­dent should do it — pa­tients, fam­i­lies or an­other prac­ti­tioner,” Dr Khor­shid said.

“We’d pre­fer self­ad­min­is­tra­tion — if you’re talk­ing about au­ton­omy, then that’s the ul­ti­mate au­ton­omy.

“For those peo­ple who can’t ad­min­is­ter it them­selves, should it be a doc­tor, should it be an­other type of prac­ti­tioner — that’s a de­bate we need to have.”

Of the mem­bers at the sym­po­sium, about half sup­ported some level of vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing for ter­mi­nally ill pa­tients.

Dr Khor­shid said the num­ber of peo­ple op­posed to change in­creased af­ter the event.

In his sec­ond ap­pear­ance be­fore the par­lia­men­tary in­quiry, Dr Khor­shid said he planned to ad­vise the com­mit­tee to take more time on the com­plex is­sue, po­ten­tially de­lay­ing the is­sue beyond the next State elec­tion.

The hear­ing will be one of the last of the long-run­ning in­quiry, which is set to re­port in Au­gust this year.

It has set records for the num­ber of sub­mis­sions from mem­bers of the pub­lic about the di­vi­sive is­sue.

“Although the com­mit­tee was of the opin­ion that they could learn from the in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence from the Vic­to­rian com­mit­tee, we found hear­ing from in­ter­na­tional ex­perts a re­ally pow­er­ful ex­pe­ri­ence,” Dr Khor­shid said. “I’ll be say­ing to them they should whether go over­seas or bring peo­ple to them to learn about the ex­pe­ri­ence in other ju­ris­dic­tions.”

He also warned the com­mit­tee the is­sue was com­plex and safe­guards would be crit­i­cal. “They shouldn’t be cre­at­ing an ex­pec­ta­tion in the com­mu­nity that they can click their fin­gers and there will be euthana­sia in a year or two,” he said.

‘We’d pre­fer self ad­min­is­tra­tion — if you’re talk­ing about au­ton­omy.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.