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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
It is evident that end-of-life care in Western Australia cannot continue with the status quo. It is also clear that improving the care and experiences of patients at the end of life extends far beyond the narrow scope of a euthanasia debate.
The issues of end-of-life care and assisted dying are currently at the centre of debate in Australia.
Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) will be legalised in Victoria from mid-2019, while the NSW Bill was narrowly defeated in late 2017.
In Western Australia, a Joint Select Committee was established in August 2017 to inquire and report on the need for laws in our State to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end of life choices.
There are varying opinions on assisted dying among medical professionals, as in the wider community. The AMA (WA) supports dialogue around these issues, which address the broader societal concerns with illness and death, including the adequacy and gaps in palliative care.
To that end, the AMA (WA) held the End-of-Life Symposium, which aimed to:
• Understand more about the current state of end of life care in WA;
• Learn from the experiences of jurisdictions in Australia and overseas;
• Develop a set of recommendations in the event of proposed VAD legislation in WA; and
• Give members an opportunity to shape AMA (WA) advocacy
For more information on the AMA (WA)’s position statement on End of Life Care, please click here.