Melbourne, Australia, Jul 24, 2019 / 15:01 pm
The first permit for medically assisted death in Victoria was issued in recent weeks, less than a month after the Australian state's legalization of voluntary assisted suicide and euthanasia took effect.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 allows adult Victoria residents who are terminally ill, expected to die within six months (or 12 if they have a neurodegenerative condition), and mentally competent, to ask their doctor to prescribe drugs that will end their lives. The law took effect June 19.
Two doctors must verify the requester's eligibility, and the person must make three requests for assisted suicide or euthanasia. Those seeking to end their lives must have lived in Victoria for at least a year, and be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
Neither the identity nor the medical condition of the person granted a permit to commit suicide have been released.
A spokesperson for the Victorian health department told the ABC that the state's “model for the voluntary assisted dying system is working.”
“We know that doctors are talking to patients about voluntary assisted dying and are carrying out assessments.”
Under the law, pharmacists at The Alfred Hospital will prepare and supply the mixture of drugs. They will deliver to the terminally ill the dose of about 100mL of liquid in a locked box with a key.
The box will include instructions on how to mix and drink the drugs, “and there is no expiry date on when the drugs can be consumed,” Melbourne daily The Age reported in June.