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How SA's euthanasia laws may work

AAP logoAAP 18/10/2016 Tracey Ferrier

South Australia's amended Voluntary Euthanasia Bill:

WHO CAN APPLY TO DIE:

- Mentally competent adults with terminal medical conditions

- Death must be inevitable

- Suffering must be intolerable to the patient

- Requests for assisted dying cannot be made solely on the grounds of someone's disability, age or mental health

- Applicants must have lived in South Australia for at least a year before making a request

CHECKS AND BALANCES:

- Two doctors must confirm applicants have terminal, incurable conditions, and that acceptable options to ease suffering have been exhausted

- Two independent witnesses must certify that requests have been made voluntarily and that the person is eligible

- Doctors and witnesses must reject a request if they suspect the applicant has been pressured to make it

- Psychiatric reports will be required if doctors have doubts about an applicant's soundness of mind

- Applicants must wait at least 2 weeks between being approved for assisted dying, and ending their lives

HOW IT WOULD WORK:

- Successful applicants can self-administer a lethal dose of drugs

- Or they can have a doctor or nurse do it for them

- Medical staff who carry out authorised voluntary euthanasia are protected from criminal or civil liability

- Death certificates will not say suicide or homicide

- Euthanasia deaths will be recorded as being caused by the terminal illness

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