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Victorian Government Details Proposed Euthanasia Laws

"The time has come to change these laws," Daniel Andrews said.

21/07/2017 1:04 PM AEST | Updated 21/07/2017 2:59 PM AEST
Fairfax
Premier Daniel Andrews said his conscience told him the time had come for a change.

People suffering terminal illnesses could access lethal medication within 10 days of asking, under euthanasia laws being proposed by the Victorian government.

New criminal offences could also reportedly be introduced to prosecute those who "induce" a person to request to die, while strict criteria surrounds who can and cannot apply for assisted dying.

"This is a deeply personal issue and its one where there'll be lots of different views, lots of different opinions. Over these coming weeks and months we need to have a respectful debate," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Warrnambool on Friday.

"In my personal judgement, the time has come to change these laws and make sure that everybody's individual choices can be respected at the end of their life.

"I'll leave Victorians to look at the detail."

He said he would be voting for it after meeting with the co-chairs of a ministerial advisory group.

It will be up to individual MP's to vote their conscience.

"My conscience tells me we need to make this change," he said.

Health minister Jill Hennessy said there is wide spread community support for assisted dying.

"We know we need to do more to give people with terminal illnesses more choices at the end of their life,"she said in a statement.

"Our plan will have the proper checks and balances to make sure we get this right."

Andrews said Victoria has the opportunity to create the safest assisted dying mechanism in the world.

About 150 people a year would initially access assisted dying measures in Victoria and this would likely increase, The Age reports.

The Government said the requests must be initiated by the person themselves, who must be aged over 18, and it could not be recommended by a health professional.

To be deemed eligible, they must be independently assessed by two medical practitioners.

"We will be working closely with legal and medical experts to ensure we have the right safeguards in place to protect vulnerable Victorians," Attorney-General Martin Pakula said.

The framework requires the patient to make three requests, including a witnessed written request, over a period of 10 days.

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