WA Parliament commissions end-of-life choices inquiry

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The WA Parliament has established a Committee to investigate end-of-life choices

After months of public remarks about end-of-life choices by the WA Premier Mark McGowan, the WA Parliament has just passed a resolution to establish a Joint Select Committee to investigate end-of-life choices for Western Australians.

Similar to the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry in 2015/16, the move is a strong step forward in assessing current practice and recommending improvements to both legislative and regulatory oversight of end-of-life for Australians in the west.

The Joint Committee is comprised of eight members, four from the Legislative Assembly (Reece Whitby, Labor, Baldivis; Amber-Jade Sanderson, Labor, Morley; Simon Millman, Labor, Mount Lawley; John McGrath, Liberal, South Perth) and four from the Legislative Council (Robin Chapple, Greens, Mining and Pastoral; Nick Goiran, Liberal, South Metropolitan; Colin Holt, Nationals, South West; Sally Talbot, Labor, South West).

Its terms of reference are:

That the Committee inquire into and report on the need for laws in Western Australia to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end of life choices and, in particular, the Committee should—

  1. assess the practices currently being utilised within the medical community to assist a person to exercise their preferences for the way they want to manage their end of life when experiencing chronic and/or terminal illnesses, including the role of palliative care;
  2. review the current framework of legislation, proposed legislation and other relevant reports and materials in other Australian States and Territories and overseas jurisdictions;
  3. consider what type of legislative change may be required, including an examination of any federal laws that may impact such legislation; and
  4. examine the role of Advanced Health Directives, Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship laws and the implications for individuals covered by these instruments in any proposed legislation.

 
The Committee will soon meet for the first time to elect a Chair and Deputy Chair. It will have up to twelve months to report back to both Houses.

 


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