From June 19, Victorians at the end of their lives can request medical assistance to die. Voluntary assisted dying may offer a new option for some, but the practice will be strictly regulated.
Disability, autonomy and euthanasia – an uncomfortable debate.
In the UK, euthanasia is ignored by parliamentarians in favour of political survival.
The Victorian assisted dying laws are based on those in Oregon, which are quite conservative. Laws in the Netherlands, Belgium and Canada are more relaxed.
Doctors often overestimate the time a patient has left to live. In the case of Victoria's assisted dying bill, an optimistic prediction could deny the patient the peaceful death they deserve.
The assisted dying bill in Victoria – complex and significant – is engendering less heated debate than marriage equality although both tap into some of our most fundamental fears and motivations.
More than 2,000 Canadians have chosen medical assistance in dying (MAID) since legalization in 2016. But palliative care doctors aren't embracing assisted suicide as part of their job.
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.
Christianity's long tradition of compassionate care for both the dying and the dead means it brings some wisdom and experience to the voluntary assisted dying issue.
During a discussion on Q&A, author Nikki Gemmell said 80% of Australians and up to 70% of Catholics and Anglicans support euthanasia laws. Is that right?
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.
Proponents of assisted suicide, such as emeritus archbishop Desmond Tutu, argue that as people have the right to live with dignity, they also have the right to die with dignity.
The Belgian athlete won silver at the Paralympics – but has signed legal euthanasia papers.
Incoming Victorian senator Derryn Hinch has the potential to be an ally or an enemy to the government's agenda.
Where and how you have the right to legally end your life.
Intuitively, we believe offering someone options automatically expands their freedom. But that isn't always true. Sometimes, more options can lead to less freedom.
Proponents of legalising euthanasia claim it's needed to ensure dying patients don't experience unbearable suffering. But in fact, this is the one setting in which law change isn't needed.
Broadcaster Andrew Denton, an advocate for assisted dying law, told the Q&A audience it was not correct to say 550 newborn babies were killed last year under Dutch euthanasia laws. Is that right?
The Australian public supports legalising euthanasia and bills are introduced into state parliaments every year. Yet governments continue to resist legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide.
The goal in the Peter Singer-Anthony Fisher debate on euthanasia was never to change anyone’s mind but to speak to an existing base.