Protection of Conscience Project
Protection of Conscience Project
Service, not Servitude

Service, not Servitude
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New South Wales

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (2017)

What follows are the parts of a euthanasia/assisted suicide bill that pertain to protection of freedom of conscience.  The Bill has been released for public consultation.

The Bill permits refusal for any reason, making no distinction between refusal for reasons of conscience and refusal for other reasons.  It also equally protects both participating and non-participating practitioners from criminal and civil liability.

Division 2 Provision of assistance

6.    Right to provide or refuse assistance

(1) A primary medical practitioner may, if satisfied that a patient who has made a request
for assistance to the primary medical practitioner is eligible to make the request, and
that all of the requirements of Division 3 have been met in relation to the request:

(a) assist the patient to end the patient’s life, or

(b) for any reason and at any time, refuse to provide that assistance.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt, Division 3 does not impose on any person a duty to
comply with any requirement of that Division, except to the extent that compliance
is required for the purposes of authorising the primary medical practitioner to provide
assistance under subsection (1).

Division 4 Review of requests for assistance

Part 3 Effect of Act on other rights and obligations

24.    Participation in provision of assistance discretionary

(1) A health care provider or other person is not under any duty, whether by contract,
statute or other legal requirement, to participate in the provision of assistance to a
patient under this Act or to conduct any examination of the patient for the purposes
of this Act.

(2) If a health care provider is unable or unwilling to carry out a direction of a primary
medical practitioner for the purpose of the primary medical practitioner assisting a
patient under this Act, that health care provider must comply with any request (of the
patient or a person acting on behalf of the patient) to transfer a copy of the patient’s
medical records to a new health care provider.

25.    Protection from liability

(1) No criminal or civil liability is incurred by a protected person, or any person acting
under the direction of a protected person, for doing either of the following in good

(a) participating in the provision of assistance under this Act,

(b) refusing to participate in the provision of assistance under this Act.