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Nation’s first voluntary euthanasia laws come into effect

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The first state to legalise voluntary assisted dying has now seen the laws come into effect, allowing doctors to prescribe the lethal drugs for terminally ill patients.

Victorian adults in intolerable pain who have less than six months to live, or 12 months for neurodegenerative diseases, can request their doctor’s help in dying as long as they meet a number of safeguards.

Four Victorian bishops have signed a letter warning against the controversial laws.

Episcopal Vicar for Life, Marriage and Family Father Tony Kerin tells Ben Fordham he believes the laws are immoral.

“Just because it’s now legal doesn’t mean the morality has changed.

“Just as renaming suicide ‘assisted dying’ doesn’t change the nature of the act.”

Go Gentle Australia CEO Kiki Paul tells Ben she thinks the criticism of the Catholic church is “rubbish”.

“The Catholic church says that it will be a slippery slope and that there will be all sorts of ways to abuse this law, with 68 safeguards that is impossible.”

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