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May 9, 2021

Greens to push for federal euthanasia laws

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Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

The Greens say they’ll pursue national voluntary euthanasia laws after an assisted dying scheme passed Victorian parliament.

“If we’re going to ensure that people have choice and control over their final few weeks of life, if we’re going to have these compassionate laws in Victoria, we need to make sure all other Australians haves access as well,” federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale told ABC TV on Sunday.

It comes after the Victorian Labor government’s controversial assisted-dying scheme passed the upper house 22-18 on Wednesday.
Senator Di Natale said many MPs across the political divide supported such a law and Victoria’s success provided a significant boost for those who wanting to see action.

The Greens reportedly want to make it easier for people to import drugs used for voluntary euthanasia, and to overturn federal laws stopping the ACT and Northern Territory from following Victoria on the issue.

Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King stressed the need for thorough consultation on any national euthanasia proposal.

“There is no doubt there will be national implications of the passage of voluntary assisted dying in the Victorian Parliament,” the Labor MP told News Corp Australia.

“Victoria showed that in order to build bipartisan support on voluntary assisted dying we need to have a proper consultation process – not political stunts and rushed proposals from the Greens.”

Under Victoria’s scheme, adults with fewer than six months to live can request to die and there are time frame exemptions for people with neurodegenerative conditions.

The scheme is set to begin in mid-2019 after amendments receive a final tick of approval from the lower house.

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