The struggle for assisted dying in the UK: lessons from Western Australia
In Victoria, Australia, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (Vic) 2017, came into force in June 2019 following an 18-month period of implementation. For the first time in over 20 years of campaigning, this act enabled people suffering from uncontrollable pain and distressing symptoms of terminal illness to seek voluntary assisted dying. There are a number of factors that may have also influenced this legislation, including the changing international attitudes in favour of voluntary assisted dying. According to White and Willmott (2018), the act permits any compos mentis adult resident of Victoria to seek voluntary assisted dying. Those eligible for assistance must have incurable disease or advanced and progressive illness that is predicted to cause death within 6 months, or 12 months if there is neurological degeneration. It is clear that the success of this act in Victoria will be crucial for adoption by other states across Australia.
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