More than 120 terminally ill Victorians end their lives under landmark laws

The Age 1 September 2020
Family First Comment: “State government-sanctioned lethal medication was used to end the lives of 124 terminally ill Victorians in the 12 months since the state’s landmark euthanasia laws came into effect in June last year, far surpassing initial estimates of just 12 people in the first year… [Daniel Andrews predicted a dozen in the first year.] Loss of autonomy was the most profound reason applicants gave for requesting assisted dying, the report found. Other reasons cited included loss of joy, losing control of body functions and loss of dignity.”
But not pain (which, we are told, is the reason we need euthanasia).
Protect.org.nz

State government-sanctioned lethal medication was used to end the lives of 124 terminally ill Victorians in the 12 months since the state’s landmark euthanasia laws came into effect in June last year, far surpassing initial estimates of just 12 people in the first year.

Loss of autonomy was the most profound reason applicants gave for requesting assisted dying, the report found. Other reasons cited included loss of joy, losing control of body functions and loss of dignity.

Of those who died, 78 per cent had terminal cancer, 15 per cent had a neurodegenerative disease such as motor neurone disease, and 7 per cent had other untreatable diseases including pulmonary fibrosis, cardiomyopathy or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

About 44 per cent of applicants were women, while 55 per cent were men and 1 per cent selected “self-described” as their gender identity.

About 60 per cent of applicants lived in metropolitan areas, while 38 per cent were from regional or rural Victoria.

One application was deemed non-compliant after the board identified an administrative error within the paperwork completed by a medical practitioner.

Although the person was deemed eligible to access the scheme, their death has been referred to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency for review.

About a quarter of all applicants progressed between their first and last request in 11 days.

The laws allow access to a lethal substance for terminally ill adults who have only about six months to live – or no longer than 12 months for those with a neurodegenerative diagnosis – and who meet other strict eligibility criteria such as being able to give informed consent.

Under the laws, two doctors who have undertaken mandatory training – including one who is a specialist in the person’s disease – must conduct favourable assessments of a person’s eligibility. A person must make three separate requests to end their lives.

“Our voluntary assisted dying laws are giving Victorians who are suffering an incurable illness at the end of their lives a compassionate choice,” Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

“This review shows that the system is working as it should – with 68 rigorous safeguards in place, making our model the most conservative system in the world.”
READ MORE: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/euthanasia-laws-used-by-124-terminally-ill-victorians-to-end-their-lives-20200901-p55rav.html

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