3. A Voluntary assisted dying law protects the vulnerable

Some organisations, like Right to Life and others, assert that Voluntary Assisted Dying laws are not safe. They warn of vulnerable people being coerced to end their lives for other people's gain. Numerous independent inquiries have found no evidence that this has occurred. These include:

Australian palliative care physician Dr Linda Sheahan whose 2012 Churchill Fellowship study of how these laws work overseas concluded... "the slippery slope in terms of risk to vulnerable groups has not been demonstrated by the data"

The cross-party parliamentary inquiries in Victoria and Western Australia, the most comprehensive and forensic reviews of the issue undertaken in Australia, found... "no evidence of institutional corrosion or the often cited slippery slope".

The Victorian committee said... "assisted dying is currently provided in robust, transparent, accountable frameworks. The academic literature shows that the risks are guarded against, and that robust frameworks help to prevent abuse".

The WA Committee added... "there is no evidence to suggest, from either Oregon or the Netherlands data, that people with disabilities are at heightened risk of assisted dying".

Perhaps most telling: representatives of peak elderly and disability groups in Belgium, the Netherlands and Oregon also report no abuse of their members under VAD laws.

The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2016, concluded... "in no jurisdiction was there evidence that vulnerable patients have been receiving euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide at rates higher than those in the general population".

The laws are designed for those at the end stage of a terminal illness whose suffering is beyond meaningful medical help. It is very hard to coerce a vulnerable person into a terminal illness they don't have. Even harder to coerce two doctors, whose work will be subject to review, to agree with them. That's why the safeguards work.