Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Increase in euthanasia deaths in Victoria Australia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Annual report of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board in Victoria, Australia was released indicating that the number of euthanasia and assisted suicide deaths in Victoria Australia (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023) increased by 11% to 306 assisted deaths and the number of applications for assisted death increased by 6%.

There are significant differences between the Canadian (MAiD) euthanasia law and the Victoria Australia euthanasia and assisted suicide law which have led to a much higher percentage of assisted deaths in Canada as compared to Victoria Australia.

Both jurisdictions legalized euthanasia (physician administered homicide) and assisted suicide (self-administered) but in Canada nearly all of the deaths are euthanasia while in Victoria Australia, in the latest report, 84% of the deaths were assisted suicide and 16% were euthanasia.

In Canada the person approved to be killed does not need to be terminally ill, he/she only need to have an "irremediable medical condition." In Victoria, Australia the person who is approved for an assisted death needs to have an incurable disease with at least a six month prognosis for death.

In Canada the person is approved for euthanasia when two doctors (or nurse practitioners) agree that the person fits the criteria of the law. In Victoria, Australia a permit must be issued by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services after the application has been submitted.

In Canada the person who is approved for euthanasia is not required to try effective treatments for their physical or psychological condition whereas in Victoria the person is required to try effective treatments.

There are more differences between the Canadian (MAiD) euthanasia law and Victoria, Australia's euthanasia and assisted suicide law, nonetheless, the killing or prescribing of lethal drugs that causes 306 people in Victoria, Australia to die is not a form of freedom but rather an abandonment of people at their time of need.

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