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South Australia Nurses Back Voluntary Euthanasia Law by Daniel Wills - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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South Australia Nurses Back Voluntary Euthanasia Law by Daniel Wills by Idowu Olabode : October 16, 2016, 04:08:21 PM
NURSES have thrown their support behind a push for South Australia to become the first state to legalise euthanasia after proponents of change agreed to new safeguards limiting when it can be used.

Euthanasia supporters Steph Key and Duncan McFetridge, Labor and Liberal MPs respectively, at the weekend circulated planned amendments to colleagues ahead of a vote expected in Parliament on Thursday that will determine if the proposal is further debated in detail.

The changes include making it explicit that only an adult who has lived in the state for at least 12 months could make the request.

They must also have been diagnosed with a terminal condition which is creating “intolerable” suffering and can’t be alleviated by palliative care.

No-one could make a request on the grounds of their disability, age, or mental health.

Two different doctors would also need to confirm each person met the criteria.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation federal secretary Lee Thomas said the changes addressed concerns within the profession and “the time for action is now”.

“We have always sought a law that has strong checks and safeguards, while allowing people suffering a terminal illness and at end stage of life, the right to voluntarily choose a peaceful death,” Ms Thomas said.

“There is now no conjecture. This law would apply to people whose death is inevitable due to a terminal medical condition, who are experiencing intolerable pain and suffering, and for whom there is no medical treatment or palliative care option.

“For too long, nurses and other health professionals have had to witness the cruel and unnecessary suffering of patients and the time for action is now.

“The harm that is being caused in the absence of a compassionate euthanasia law cannot continue to be ignored.”

Numbers in the Parliament are understood to be finely balanced. Because the issue of euthanasia is a conscience vote, MPs are not bound to vote together in party blocs.

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Source : AdelaideNow

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