Doctors will have right to refuse assisted death requests under planned reforms

The Age

Farrah Tomazin

Doctors will have the right to refuse to help terminally ill patients who wish to die provided they don’t obstruct people from seeking support elsewhere, under assisted dying laws to be drafted by the Andrews government.

In a high-level report to be considered by cabinet, an expert panel is set to recommend allowing doctors to hold a “conscientious objection” to physician-assisted death – similar to the provisions that allow them to refuse abortions in Victoria.

But medical clinicians who are willing to help patients end their life may be required to have extra training, and anyone who tries to pressure someone to die could face criminal sanctions in a bid to ensure there are strict safeguards against exploitation. . . [Full text]

One thought on “Doctors will have right to refuse assisted death requests under planned reforms”

  1. The recommendation by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation that physicians who refuse to kill patients should be compelled to refer them to colleagues who will is contentious. A constitutional challenge to such a requirement is underway in Ontario, Canada. Many objecting physicians find a requirement for referral unacceptable because they believe that it makes them morally complicit in what they believe to be wrongful conduct. See a commentary on this article by Australian writer Paul Russell.

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