The report recommends the introduction of a bill for voluntary assisted dying, which should be drafted in consultation with a panel of experts, including health and legal professionals and health consumers.
The framework proposed by the report differs from the Victorian legislation in that eligibility for assisted dying is not dependent on a timeframe in which it is anticipated that the person will die, but rather that death would need to be a “reasonably foreseeable” outcome of the condition suffered by the patient.
The report acknowledges that health professionals should not be compelled to participate in any voluntary assisted dying framework developed in Western Australia. Personal objections are not confined to religious objection, but it is recognised that for whatever reason, be it religious or otherwise, some health professionals will not wish to assist people who have made a request for assistance to die. Those health professionals will not be compelled to provide assistance and will be protected under the legislation, but they should not pose an impediment to a capable individual’s autonomous request to die.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation Framework embedded in the report provides that:
“At the time the patient makes the first verbal request, any doctor with a personal objection to providing assisted dying must inform the patient of the objection and offer to refer the patient to a doctor who is willing to provide assistance. Where a person is an inpatient in a health service unwilling to provide assisted dying, that service must facilitate timely transfer to another service.”
To read the full report, click here.