Eight Questions About The New South Wales 'Assisted Dying' Bill

Michael Cook

NSW MP Alex Greenwich is circulating a draft bill which would legalise what his supporters call “assisted dying” and what his opponents call assisted suicide and euthanasia. He believes that there is strong support for change in the state Parliament now that “assisted dying” laws have passed in Victoria, Western Australia, and Tasmania. In Queensland a change will come soon.

But even a quick look at Mr Greenwich’s bill reveals that it is full of holes. Here are eight questions that need answers before MPs could possibly vote for it.

Why will doctors be forced to lie when they fill out death certificates?

The draft bill states very clearly: “The medical practitioner must not include a reference to voluntary assisted dying in the cause of death certificate for the person.” In other words, they are required, under law, to falsify the death certificate. If a patient suffering from cancer died after being hit by a truck, would you record the cause of death as “cancer”? If a patient with both Covid and a toothache dies, would you record the death as “toothache”?

Not only will this distort health statistics, one of the principal reasons for death certificates, but it bakes a lack of transparency into the process of “assisted dying”.

How many are going to die?

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