Euthanasia public input push

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Euthanasia Debate Illustration: Don Lindsay
Camera IconEuthanasia Debate Illustration: Don Lindsay Credit: The West Australian

Nationals WA leader Mia Davies has called on Health Minister Roger Cook to hold euthanasia consultation sessions in the Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions.

A State expert panel, which was formed to guide the legislative process to introduce a voluntary assisted dying Bill, released its discussion paper last month.

The Government is now calling for public input with consultation sessions scheduled across WA. But there are no sessions planned for the Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Pilbara or Gascoyne, denying residents the chance to directly consult with the panel in their region.

“Given the nature of this issue, consultation needs to be done properly and that means providing a fair opportunity for West Australians to engage, no matter where they live,” Ms Davies said.

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Health Minister Roger Cook said people who could not attend a consultation session could provide feedback online or lodge a written submission.

“I am confident that the consultation being undertaken, along with the recommendations of the committee, will result in well-informed and workable legislation that includes strong safeguards for those people who wish to access voluntary assisted dying,” he said.

Nationals MP Martin Aldridge encouraged Mr Cook to use the local Community Resource Centre network to allow residents in remote locations to have virtual consultations with the panel.

“CRCs have advanced video-conferencing technology that would allow for virtual consultation with the panel to take place simultaneously,” Mr Aldridge said. “I’m pleased the minister is receptive to this idea.” Mr Cook said he expected a report on community feedback in July before laws were introduced to Parliament in August or September.

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