Australians should have the right to choose assisted dying, groundbreaking report says

Assisted death should be available to people with incurable and terminal illness who persistently request it. This is a key recommendation of a report from leading academics released today.

The by Australia21 (A21), a non-profit body committed to analysis of complex issues affecting Australia's future, calls on state governments to legislate for change and on the Federal Government to return to the territories their right to legalise assisted dying.

The report, "The right to choose an assisted death: Time for legislation?", was prepared after a roundtable discussion by opponents and supporters of assisted dying from the fields of medicine, law, ethics, palliative care and politics that was held in Brisbane in January in conjunction with QUT's Health Law Research Centre (HLRC).

HLRC director Professor Ben White from QUT's School of Law said the report considered reform of the currently illegal practices of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide.

"The laws on voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide lack coherence and there is a body of evidence that shows they are not being followed," Professor White said.

"This area of the should be reformed to respect choice, in line with community thinking."

The report's lead author Emeritus Professor Bob Douglas AO, founding chair of A21, said views on assisted dying were changing rapidly around the world.

"A number of jurisdictions around the world have decriminalised assisted dying and and national polls in Australia show people want this option as they approach the end of their lives," Professor Douglas said.

The report is being sent to all state and federal parliamentarians and to professional and religious bodies around Australia.

The report can be downloaded here.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Why aren't there any human doctors in Star Wars?

Jan 30, 2015

Though set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," it isn't hard to see in the Star Wars films a vision of our own not so distant future. But Anthony Jones, a physician with a long background in health ...

Cambodia bans 'virgin surgery' adverts

Jan 29, 2015

The Cambodian government has ordered a hospital to stop advertising so-called virginity restoration procedures, saying it harms the "morality" of society.

What's happening with your donated specimen?

Jan 28, 2015

When donating blood, plasma, human tissue or any other bodily sample for medical research, most people might not think about how it's being used. But if you were told, would you care?

Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

Jan 27, 2015

Amgen Inc. cruised to a 27 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and beat Wall Street expectations, due to higher sales of nearly all its medicines, tight cost controls and a tax benefit.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.