A death service involves administering drugs to end the life of a person suffering from an unbearable, incurable disease at their own will. Not all terminally ill patients are eligible for euthanasia, and there are strict eligibility criteria for euthanasia.
The service includes certain steps, medical examinations, and important safety measures to ensure that the person is empowered and makes the decision on their own, without pressure from anyone else.
The Parliament of New South Wales (NSW) recently passed a Death Assistance Act called “A law on the provision and regulation of access to voluntary assistance at death for the terminally ill; create a Council for Voluntary Assistance at Death; and amend other laws accordingly.”
New South Wales is the latest state to pass a Voluntary Death Assistance Act, which drew controversy as some called it a historic moment for the people and some called it a black day for New South Wales.
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Who is eligible?
According to “Voluntary Death Assistance Bill 2022” adopted by the Government of New South Wales, the following are the main eligibility criteria for death assistance:
- An adult Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident who must have been permanently resident in New South Wales for at least 12 months at the time of the first request.
- The person has been diagnosed with at least one disease, disease, or disease that is progressive, progressive, and potentially fatal.
- Illness causes suffering to a person, which cannot be alleviated in a way that a person considers bearable.
- The person is able to make decisions regarding voluntary assistance at death, and the person acts voluntarily and not because of pressure or coercion.
However, a person with a simple disability, dementia or mental health condition cannot access voluntary care at death.
Eligibility for Medical Practitioners
A medical practitioner has the right to be a medical practitioner-coordinator or a medical practitioner-consultant in the provision of care for the death of a patient under the following conditions.
- The practitioner must have a specialist registration or a general registration with at least ten years of experience.
- Must have completed approved training and meet other requirements established by the regulations for this purpose.
- He/she must not be a member of the patient’s family
- The healthcare professional does not know or believe that he/she will be the beneficiary of the patient’s will or may otherwise benefit financially or otherwise from the patient’s death.
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New South Wales is the latest state to pass this bill. Voluntary assisted death is a sensitive issue that has been debated not only in Australia but around the world for centuries. In many cases, religious beliefs and morality come into play when discussing a topic. Many countries, such as Switzerland, New Zealand, have legalized voluntary euthanasia.