Great news from Australia! On November 22, the upper chamber of the parliament of the Australian state of Victoria passed a groundbreaking assisted dying bill, similar to the one previously passed by the lower chamber. The historic bill passed by a vote of 22 to 18 after a long night of debate. The British newspaper “The Guardian” reported that supportive members of the Victorian parliament wept with relief and joy when it became clear that the bill would pass. The bill is expected to go into effect in June of 2019.
The new law is similar to the US laws in requiring the terminally ill person to be within six months of dying in the opinion of their doctor, but it includes a significant improvement in that it makes an exception for people with neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, where the criteria is extended to one year. That’s really great and important, because for diseases such as ALS, often by the time you’re “terminal” according to the six month criteria, you can no longer self-administer any meds.
Read all about it at the website of The Guardian.