A WEST Australian Greens MP has introduced a Bill that will pave the way for legalised euthanasia in the state, angering Christian groups.
Robin Chapple introduced the Voluntary Euthanasia Bill into Parliament today, which would allow any terminally ill West Australian over the age of 21 and of “sound mind” to elect to be euthanised.
Under the Bill, a request for the administration of euthanasia would only apply to a person who has a terminal illness that will cause death within two years and is experiencing considerable pain or debilitation.
The request must be assessed by two independent medical practitioners who both have five years’ experience before a third practitioner reviews the request and administers euthanasia. Mr Chapple said the bill would give legal immunity to anyone who assists a suffering terminally ill patient to die. “This Bill is not about legalising suicide,” he said in Parliament.
“This Bill is not about de-valuing life or about pushing the boundaries of morality. “This Bill is about giving choice to a suffering terminally ill person, and about providing civil and criminal immunity to those people who assist such a person to carry out that choice.” However, the Bill will struggle to pass the Upper House with the Greens needing the support of the Liberal and National parties.
Richard Egan from Christian group FamilyVoice Australia claimed the Bill would put the lives of elderly and disabled people at risk. Mr Egan claimed under the Bill, doctors “keen on giving lethal injection” would be able to help people who are not terminally ill, but suffering depression commit suicide.