Committee recommends assisted dying legislation

On Thursday 23 August 2018 - one year to the day since the Western Australian Parliament established the Inquiry into End of Life Choices - the Joint Select Committee tabled its report in both houses of Parliament. Hundreds of supporters rallied outside Parliament House to hear the recommendations and they were delighted with the news.

The cross-party parliamentary committee has recommended the WA Government legalise voluntary assisted dying for people 'experiencing grievous and irremediable suffering related to an advanced and progressive terminal, chronic or neurodegenerative condition that cannot be alleviated in a manner acceptable to that person, where death is a reasonably foreseeable outcome of the condition.' 

The recommendation was backed by MPs from Labor, the Greens, the Liberals and Nationals and could pave the way for a bill to be brought to State Parliament as early as next year.

Committee chair, Amber-Jade Sanderson said how we die has changed over the last 60 years and medicine and the law have not kept pace with this change, nor with changes in community expectations. The Committee believes the community is ready for change.

“The committee concludes that the current lawful options available to people experiencing grievous and irremediable suffering at end of life are inadequate and can be exceptionally difficult for the dying person and for their family and friends,” she said.

Premier Mark McGowan has refused to comment on the recommendations at this stage, saying instead that Cabinet would consider it.

The full Report of the Joint Select Committee on End Of Life Choices can be viewed here.