Legalising VAD respects all sides in the debate
Law researcher Andrew McGee argues that legalising assisted dying is the best way to respect the views on both sides in the debate about end-of-life choice.
In this analysis, first published as a QUT Law Research blog, Associate Professor Andrew McGee explains that only the legalisation of VAD (and offering every individual the choice of whether or not to use it), ensures views on both sides of the debate are respected.
"... the default position should always be permissive legalisation. This is the only position that enables people to act in accordance with their own conscience, and avoids holding people with different beliefs hostage to one view. This point has been overlooked in this debate."
That being so, while medical practitioners are entitled to conscientiously object to taking part in the law, A/Prof McGee says "there must always be an obligation on a conscientious objector to at least inform a patient inquiring about VAD of their options, so that the patient can exercise their legitimate right to make up their own minds about what is appropriate for their own lives."
About Andrew McGee
Andrew is an Associate Professor in the School of Law and is a member of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research and the End of Life Research Program. He has published articles in leading international medical law and ethics journals on palliative care, withholding and withdrawing life-prolonging measures and euthanasia, organ donation, and the ethics of abortion.