Western Australia has voted to legalise voluntary-assisted dying, becoming the second jurisdiction in the country to do so.
Western Australian (WA) Premier Mark McGowan made this known on Tuesday after the historic vote.
He said: “Today we showed that at least in Western Australia, we can do big things.
“And in this parliament we have big, compassionate hearts and we’re willing to take some political risks to do the right thing.”
The upper house of the state parliament last week passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill after 55 amendments to the initial version of the bill introduced by the centre-left Labor government.
The bill returned to the lower house and the amendments were ratified late Tuesday after an emotional and lengthy debate. After the laws passed, WA state lawmakers exchanged hugs as the visitors in the public gallery applauded.
Western Australia’s introduction of euthanasia laws follows the historic introduction of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria in 2017.
After an 18-month implementation period, the option for terminally ill patients to end their lives with a lethal combination of medication has been available in Victoria since June.
“It’s not a time for jubilation. Everyone knows what this legislation is about. It’s about reflection.
“And to reflect that we’ve chosen compassion and the right to choose,” Roger Cook, the state’s health minister who oversaw the bill’s introduction, said in the parliament in Perth.
Like Victoria, there will be an 18 months of “implementation period,” when authorities will work out the details on how the scheme will exactly operate, until the law comes into effect.