A draft bill has been tabled in the Senate to legalise euthanasia in Australia.
The draft was set up by Greens senator Dr Richard Di Natale who said, “it can be hard to talk about death but it’s time we put dying with dignity laws firmly on the national agenda”.
The bill called “dying with dignity” will be limited to adults and Australian residents.
A patient who would like the option of euthanasia has to be assessed by two doctors who agree on their prognosis and a psychiatrist who can attest that the patient is not suffering from treatable clinical depression.
The bill states that the federal government will pay for the service and the doctors will be protected from prosecution by the state.
An opinion poll on News.com shows that 61 per cent of Australians agree that euthanasia should be legal.
Maitland resident, Nicole Gressier, 19, believes that euthanasia should be legal to end the suffering of the patient and their family. “I think it (euthanasia) should be legal depending on the situation. It should be available so the patient isn’t suffering and to end the suffering of there loved ones,” she told The Newsroom.
Nick Sharpe of Randwick believes that forcing someone to suffer is inhumane. “If the person is confident that they cannot continue living then yes, I do believe they can be euthanised because it is more inhumane to let someone suffer then to rest in peace,” he told us.
Emily Guise, 20, a nurse from Green Hills nursing home in Maitland, sees patients deteriorating daily and the depression that comes with it. “Many will straight out tell you they want to die,” she told The Newsroom. “But they don’t have the option. And its heartbreaking for not only them but their family to watch them giving up.” – Jade Meiach-Sherlock
Top photo from sheilaz413’s Flickr photostream.