SA parliament have passed new assisted dying laws

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill has been passed in the SA parliament after a 25 year campaign.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill has been passed in the SA parliament after a 25 year campaign.

Terminally-ill people wishing to end their lives will be able to access voluntary euthanasia after the South Australian parliament passed historic legislation.

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill was put to a conscience vote, passing parliament on its 17th attempt in 25 years about 11am on Thursday.

It includes 68 safeguards and a provision that people wishing to die must be SA residents for at least 12 months.

It will next go to the Governor for assent before the legislation comes into effect in about 18 months.

When it does, SA will be the fourth state in the country to legalise voluntary euthanasia.

"Voluntary Assisted Dying. It's all done in Parliament. Every last bit," jubilant SA Labor MP Kyam Maher tweeted.

A terminal diagnosis and a life expectancy of less than six months, or 12 months for a person with a neurodegenerative disease, must be confirmed for a patient to access the procedure.

The bill also requires patients show they have decision-making capacity and are capable of informed consent, and that they undergo an assessment by two independent medical practitioners.

They must have their request verified by two independent witnesses and must be experiencing intolerable suffering that cannot be relieved.

The SA bill is based on Victoria's legislation and system for voluntary assisted dying.

Mr Maher co-sponsored the bill in 2020 after watching his mother's suffering.

Western Australia recently passed similar laws that come into force later this year, while legislation has also passed in the Tasmanian parliament

Australian Associated Press

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