'Greater control' - Peel region MPs weigh-in on assisted dying legislation debate

IMPORTANT ISSUE: Mandurah MP David Templeman, Murray-Wellington MP Robyn Clarke and Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup have spoken out on voluntary assisted dying. Photos: Supplied, Mandurah Mail.
IMPORTANT ISSUE: Mandurah MP David Templeman, Murray-Wellington MP Robyn Clarke and Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup have spoken out on voluntary assisted dying. Photos: Supplied, Mandurah Mail.

The Peel region's MPs have weighed-in on the potential for assisted dying legislation in Western Australia, with two supporting "greater control" for people at the end of their life and another still to decide a position.

The Mandurah Mailreported last weekthat the euthanasia debate was set to heat up after a Ministerial Expert Panel, chaired by Malcolm McCusker QC, handed down its final report after 12 months of community consultation.

This included 31 recommendations for the proposed legislation, including safeguards over how it is applied.

The state government will now draft legislation in relation to voluntary assisted dying, before MPs are given freedom to vote on the potential new laws.

Mandurah MP David Templeman, who has previously stated his support for some form of legislation, said the expert panel had undertaken a thorough consultation process.

"The expert panel conducted extensive consultation sessions and forums throughout Western Australia, including a public forum held in Mandurah, which attracted about 100 local participants," he said.

"This report and the extensive consultation conducted by the expert panel is an important step closer to the introduction of voluntary assisted dying legislation."

Murray-Wellington MP Robyn Clarke said she hoped a respectful debate would take place in parliament over the important issue.

"Both David and I support the debating of such legislation in the parliament and welcome comments and contact from people in our electorates with regard to their views on the issue," she said.

"We are both supportive of providing people who are suffering a terminal condition greater control and choice with regard to their treatment and end-of-life options."

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup, who has recently been named WA shadow health minister, said he wanted more feedback from the public before deciding which way to vote.

"I want to make sure I am as informed as possible on this, which is why we've been calling every single person aged 65 and over in my district to get their initial perspectives on assisted suicide and see if they want to be involved in future discussion," he said.

"Once we have the legislation I intend to hold a number of community forums to get the views of local residents. Additionally, every single person who writes in to the Mandurah Mail on this topic I have also actively attempted to talk to, and I have also promoted this widely on my social media.

"I am doing everything I can to get a consensus of views and ultimately, I intend to vote according to the wishes of the community which I have the privilege of representing."

The expert panel's final report and more information can be found at health.wa.gov.au/voluntaryassisteddying.