Local MPs give stance on euthanasia as public consultation now open

Local MPs give stance on euthanasia as public consultation now open

The people of Western Australia are being asked to weigh-in on potential new euthanasia laws, with a period of public consultation now open.

A discussion paper from the Ministerial Expert Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying has outlined key issues for the proposed legislation.

The discussion paper is designed to help with developing legislation, with every likelihood that MPs will then have a conscience vote on whether to accept the drafted legislation.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the government was committed to ensuring the highest quality end-of-life and palliative care.

"There is consistent and widespread community support for voluntary assisted dying reform," he said.

"This is an emotive and important issue and a discussion not only for health professionals, but for us all.

"I encourage all Western Australians to take part in these consultations in the next few months to ensure that the legislation is based on the available evidence and reflects the needs of all people in our diverse State."

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Mandurah MP David Templeman said he was in the process of organising a public consultation locally.

"I want to ensure people are talking about what the legislation could contain and I'm out to hear from as many people as possible," he said.

"Anecdotally, the majority of people I talk to are strongly in support of having the choice."

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup said he was uncertain on which way he would vote, but wanted to hear from more people in his electorate before making a decision.

"It is vital that the Mandurah community have the opportunity to have a say on what the future of palliative care and assisted dying looks like," he said. 

"This is a complex and an emotional issue for many people but it is vital that we get this right.

"Once the proposed legislation is released, I will be holding a number of community meetings so that I can listen to as many people as possible, understand the greater view of local residents and I will vote accordingly."

Murray Wellington MP Robyn Clarke said she supported assisted dying legislation in principle.

"With public consultation now open for voluntary assisted dying, I strongly recommend that anyone wanting to have their say takes part, either by attending a consultation session or online," she said.

"After experiences I have had with family members I am for voluntary assisted dying, but I believe it is important that this consultation process takes place so that all views on the conditions and process of voluntary assisted dying can be considered."

The discussion paper and more information can be found here.

To provide online feedback click here.

The online survey will close at 11:59pm on May 24.