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

Service, not Servitude
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South Australia

Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care (Voluntary Euthanasia) Amendment Bill 2008

What follows are the parts of a euthanasia bill that pertain to protection of freedom of conscience. Note the following:

  • Section 48 protects those who perform or assist in voluntary euthanasia, but not those who refuse to do so.
  • Section 49(1) permits medical practitioners to refuse to perform euthanasia for any reason. It is not clear whether or not this protection would extend to refusing to facilitate the procedure.

The bill was defeated in November, 2009.

48-Protection from liability

A medical practitioner who administers voluntary euthanasia, or a person who assists in the administration of voluntary euthanasia, incurs no civil or criminal liability by doing so (including, to avoid doubt, in disciplinary proceedings or similar proceedings).

49-Person may decline to administer or assist the administration of voluntary euthanasia

(1) A medical practitioner may decline to carry out a request for the administration of voluntary euthanasia on any grounds.

(2) However, if a medical practitioner declines to administer voluntary euthanasia, he or she must inform the person that another medical practitioner may be prepared to consider the request.

(3) A person may decline to assist a medical practitioner to administer voluntary euthanasia on any grounds without prejudice to the person's employment or any other form of adverse discrimination.

35 (4) The administering authority of a hospital, hospice, nursing home or other institution for the care of the sick or infirm may refuse to permit voluntary euthanasia within the institution but, if it does so, must take steps to ensure that such refusal is brought to the attention of patients entering the institution in accordance with the regulations.