Articles on Assisted suicide

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One of Scotland’s most popular politicians. Andrew Milligan/PA

Margo MacDonald, independent Scot, 1943-2014

The Scottish Parliament prides itself in the number of visitors it receives. They might hope for a sighting of the first minister, but Margo MacDonald was the member the public was keenest to actually…
Scotland is considering an assisted suicide bill. Matt

Assisted suicide bill is laudable, but poorly drafted

A bill on physician-assisted suicide is being considered by the Scottish parliament. It is the second attempt by independent member Margo MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s disease, to get such a law onto…
Belgium is a world away from Australia on this issue, with a completely different culture and history of euthanasia. Image from

Belgium’s child euthanasia law – implications for Australia

Late last week, the Belgian parliament passed laws that granted children access to euthanasia. The laws have been controversial and attracted significant discussion internationally. Opponents of reform…
Opinion polls consistently indicate majority public support for legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. Lee Haywood

Another voluntary euthanasia bill bites the dust

When it comes to legislating voluntary euthanasia in Australia, success is rare and short lived. The Tasmanian Voluntary Assisted Dying bill is the latest such piece of euthanasia legislation to be defeated…
The bill fails to tackle discrimination in end of life care that would have helped Tony Nicklinson. PA/Emma Hallett

Lack of clarity undermines bill that would help people die

Lord Falconer’s assisted dying bill would allow registered doctors to take steps to help mentally competent adult patients to end their own lives, but only in certain circumstances. One of these circumstances…
Paying attention to the interests of the elderly and disabled people ensures we use appropriate eligibility criteria in euthanasia legislation. SalFalko/Flickr

Safe assisted dying laws are possible, so let’s make them

A report we recently prepared with independent think tank Australia21 calls for state governments to institute laws allowing and regulating voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide – in defined and limited…
Evidence from the Netherlands shows that common fears about legalising voluntary euthanasia aren’t warranted. Image from

Right time to die: why rational suicide should be legalised

Australians are living longer. But not everyone wants to live as long as they can. People sometimes have good reasons for wanting to end their lives: they may be suffering from a terminal illness; they…
We need a debate that considers the empirical evidence about voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. Anne/Flickr

Starting the debate on voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide

Voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide are never far from the public spotlight. But we still haven’t had an honest and open debate about this issue in Australia. End-of-life matters crop up from time…

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