Voluntary euthanasia will now be legal in the Australian state of Victoria after a law passed in 2017 came into effect on Wednesday, AFP reported. Victoria is the only state in the country to legalise mercy killing.
In November 2017, Victoria’s Parliament had voted to legalise voluntary doctor-assisted euthanasia.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews began to support euthanasia after his father died of cancer in 2016. He said the laws would give patients a “dignified option at the end of their life”. “We’ve taken a compassionate approach,” Andrews told Channel Nine.
The provision will be available to terminally ill adult patients who have fewer than six months to live, or one year in case of conditions such as motor neuron disease and multiple sclerosis. The law will have multiple restrictions, including residency requirements and assessments from multiple doctors.
Around 12 people are expected to use the law this year, and up to 150 each year after that, Andrews said. An independent review board and a coroner will monitor all deaths, AFP reported.