The End of Life Choice Bill

has finalised her bill, called the End of Life Choice Bill.  The last bill on euthanasia failed just 58-60 in 2003, so there is a very reasonable chance that such a bill can pass, if drawn.

I believe we need such a bill, and will be supporting it. It is inhumane what some families are forced to go through. They key elements of the bill are:

  • that the person making the request must be mentally competent, as attested by 2 medical practitioners – and that there is no coercion involved
  • that the person suffers from a terminal illness which is likely to cause death within 12 months, or from an irreversible physical or mental condition that, in the person’s view, renders his or her life unbearable
  • A 7 day reflection period
  • Can do an end of life directive, while mentally competent, specifying wishes. Must be renewed every five years
  • Medical practitioners can refuse to be involved
  • Family members can not annul the wishes of the applicant (unlike with organ donations!)
  • An annual review of how the law is being operated

There are no doubt some areas of the bill that can be improved upon in select committee, but to me it looks worthy of support for at least first reading.

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