Melbourne: Victoria on Wednesday became first state in Australia to enact Euthanasia laws that would now allow terminally ill patients suffering from intolerable pain to legally ask their doctor for lethal drugs to end their lives.
The state’s historic laws will be effective on Wednesday and under the scheme, terminally-ill Victorian adults in intolerable pain and with less than six months to live, or 12 months for neurodegenerative diseases, and who meet 68 safeguards can request their doctor’s help in dying.
Describing the new laws as a “compassionate app-roach” to the matter, state premier Daniel Andrews said that almost 120 doctors have so been trained or are enrolled in adequate training to operate under the new laws.
“This is a day for the advocates, this is a day for the patients and their families who have suffered for a very long period of time and have been waiting for this change,” Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos said.
The premier said the scheme had already received about 100 inquiries.
“'We anticipate in the first 12 months, based on overseas experience, around a dozen people that will access voluntary assisted dying,” he said adding that number was projected to stabilise at about 100 or 150 people per year.
With 68 safeguards, the Bill has been described as the most conservative in the world....