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Doctors urge Western Australia not to legalize euthanasia

by | Nov 29, 2017

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Australian Medical Association President Dr. Michel Gannon

Australian Medical Association President Dr. Michel Gannon

In the past few weeks, New South Wales Australia defeated a euthanasia bill while Victoria Australia all but passed a bill to legalize euthanasia.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA), which opposes euthanasia, warned Western Australia to not follow Victoria’s lead. Sophia Moore with News.com.au reported:

AMA president Michael Gannon told reporters on Monday that the focus should be on improving access to palliative care, rather than legalising euthanasia.

Dr Gannon said international experience showed there would be attempts to extend euthanasia laws to people with dementia, mental illness and other forms of chronic disease.

In the Netherlands, single women over the age of 50 with cancer or chronic illness were the primary group to seek euthanasia, and voluntary-assisted dying is available to children in Belgium.

A 2015 AMA survey found the majority of Australian doctors oppose voluntary-assisted dying.

“It goes to the heart of our code of ethics,” he told reporters.

Moore then reported that the Western Australian Health Minister supports euthanasia.

But WA Health Minister Roger Cook said international research done by the Victorian select committee would benefit WA’s own investigation into euthanasia.

“I personally supported euthanasia, in principle,” he said.

A WA parliamentary committee investigating end of life choices has received more than 700 submissions, with a final report due in August.

But the Australian Medical Association (AMA) opposes the bill to legalize euthanasia.

Categories: Euthanasia