UTAS report must not be used to delay assisted dying bill
An expert panel from the University of Tasmania has endorsed the state's assisted dying bill saying it has some of the “most rigorous” safeguards in the world.
The four-person panel was charged with comparing the proposed law with legislation that has passed in other jurisdictions and providing an overview of other practical considerations.
"The Tasmanian VAD Bill has numerous provisions to protect individuals and to ensure that access is limited to people who are medically eligible and are acting voluntarily and free from coercion," the panel wrote.
"Indeed, the process proposed in the Tasmanian VAD Bill for requesting, assessing eligibility for and accessing VAD, and the safeguards built into this process, are among the most rigorous in the world."
Premier Peter Gutwein asked the panel to review Independent MLC Mike Gaffney’s bill after both houses of parliament voted in support last year. The bill now faces further detailed scrutiny in the Lower House and a final vote after parliament resumes on 2 March.
Mr Gaffney described the panel's report as "fair".
"I'll be keen to see how the government and House of Assembly MPs use this information to finalise deliberations,” he said.
Go Gentle Australia’s CEO Kiki Paul endorsed the report's thorough approach but cautioned against unnecessary delays.
"We want a safe, workable law for Tasmania.
"This thorough and exhaustive report furnishes Parliamentarians with all they need to conclude this already rigorous debate without unnecessary delays.
"The majority of Tasmanians and their representatives want this law - and they have waited long enough.
"Parliamentarians must now keep front of mind the people this law is intended to help - terminally ill Tasmanians and their loved ones."