Sleepless nights in dying debate

By Grace Jones | posted on September 12, 2019

THE debate into each individual clause of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill caused some sleepless nights for the state Legislative Assembly last week.

Before the final Bill is recommended to the Legislative Council, each clause of the document is scrutinised by Parliament and voted on to be approved.

Last Thursday Parliament did not adjourn until 5.21am the next day after commencing sitting at 9am.

The final clause the House voted on, Clause 50, dictates that practitioners must conduct a final review of a patient to review all forms completed throughout the request process for voluntary assisted dying and notify the Voluntary Assisted Dying Board within two days of reviewing that form.

The assembly still has another 134 clauses to read, debate and vote on.

During the early hours of Friday morning, Leader of the Opposition Liza Harvey asked the Minister for Health Roger Cook if they could speed up the process and have a completed Bill on September 19.

“It would be sensible if we could wind up this consideration in detail deliberation and look to reaching an agreement,” she said.

“I cannot speak for the minister’s members, but my members and I could agree to pass this legislation over the next sitting week of Parliament, by 19 September.

“I understand that that would be consistent with when the Legislative Council expects to receive the legislation.”

Leader of the House David Templeman said they would conclude the sitting at Clause 50 to continue at the next sitting.

Debate on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill and consideration in detail is set to resume on September 17, two days prior to the date the Legislative Council expects to receive the Bill.