Victorian MPs are about to debate an assisted dying bill. How can they sift through competing claims?
There is now a reputable body of research evidence from places that have introduced assisted dying, and MPs must examine that evidence before deciding how they will vote.
Assisted dying legislation is likely to be introduced in Victorian Parliament within a month, and be based on a report launched today by Brian Owler and Jill Hennessy.
Public opinion, shifting views in the health profession and international trends allowing assisted dying mean it will be lawful in Australia at some point. But will it be lawful in Victoria soon?
One paper reported that between 0.3% to 4.6% of all deaths are reported as euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide in jurisdictions where they are legal.
There is a growing body of evidence available on how many people are using euthanasia and assisted dying laws in places where it is legal.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced his government would be putting a bill to legalise assisted dying to parliament next year.
Victoria stands a chance of becoming the first Australian jurisdiction in 20 years, and the first ever Australian state, to have an assisted dying law.
Two experts in medical ethics sum up some of the arguments for and against the bill.
UK legislation still has various hurdles to overcome.
The debate on the role of law and ethics at the end of life is an enduring one. In 1971, such debate was focused almost solely upon the Netherlands when a rural physician called Truus Postma facilitated…