The Tasmanian Greens Member for Franklin, Nick McKim MP, today welcomed the release of the Australia 21 report The right to choose an assisted death: Time for legislation? saying that it reinforced the need for Tasmanian legislation providing for regulated voluntary assisted dying.

“Australia 21 assembled a steering committee of highly informed professionals including senior doctors and lawyers, who have returned a report recommending that state governments move to legislate on the right to choose an assisted death,” said Mr McKim.

“This report recognises that medical professionals may already be performing assisted deaths. It does not go into the ethical arguments for or against assisted dying, it simply finds that the law is severely lacking in this area and recommends that state governments move swiftly to address this shortcoming.”

“The report also confirms that should medical professionals perform this procedure, they are doing so without any legal protection.”

“Our current situation provides absolutely no legal framework or safeguards for a patient who finds themselves in the confronting position of having to explore the proposition of an assisted death.”

“The current laws are inadequate and that’s one of the reasons that the Premier and myself are working on our private members’ bill for voluntary assisted dying.”

“For a sustained period of time polling has consistently returned strong support for this reform, the only issue we needed to resolve was finding an appropriate model for Tasmania and I believe we are very close to that.”

“I look forward to the possibility of Tasmania leading the way on this important and compassionate reform,” Mr McKim said.

Nick McKim MP Greens Member for Franklin Friday, 26 April 2013