Media Releases

AMA (WA) welcomes potentially life-saving legislation being considered by State Parliament

Tuesday March 31, 2020

The Australian Medical Association (WA) today welcomed the Western Australian Parliament debating legislation that will enable doctors to use world-leading research and experimental treatments to target COVID-19 related illnesses.

AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said the Guardianship and Administration Amendment (Medical Research) Bill 2020 being introduced into State Parliament this afternoon, will allow WA doctors to participate in trialling new and emerging treatments.

“Under existing legislation, an enduring guardian (or next of kin) is able to make a decision about medical treatment, but not medical research,” Dr Miller said.

“This means that current incapacitated patients don’t have access to COVID-19 treatments, which are on trial across the world.

“The legislation will enable doctors to offer treatment beyond supportive care to those patients with COVID-19 who are unconscious and cannot make decisions for themselves. This will benefit all critically ill patients in WA, not just those with COVID-19.”

Dr Miller also welcomed the Criminal Code Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 being considered by the Parliament, which will penalise individuals who threaten or assault frontline workers responding to COVID-19.

“Protecting our healthcare workers is a top priority, and it is imperative the WA Parliament passes all legislation dealing with the COVID-19 response swiftly,” he said.

“On behalf of our doctors I would like to thank both the McGowan Government and all WA parliamentarians for putting the health of the WA community at the front of our State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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