What Can Oregon Teach Australia about Dying?

  •  Lyn Carson    
  •  Brette Blakely    


Australia has an unusual history with regards to the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. The first people to die through legalised physician aid in dying did so in the Northern Territory under the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act which was passed in 1995. However, after intervention by the federal government, no territories in Australia are allowed to pass legislation legalising voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide. No states have since succeeded in passing any acts either, despite a high level of public support for these end of life options. This paper looks at the process by which other jurisdictions have legalised either voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide, to help understand the current Australian situation.

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