Orange MP Phil Donato wants to see more detail on voluntary assisted dying bill | Poll

Member for Orange Phil Donato. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
Member for Orange Phil Donato. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

When it comes to the reasoning behind voluntary euthanasia, Member for Orange, Phil Donato understands.

“I’ve seen it,” Mr Donato said.

Mr Donato witnessed his late father-in-law struggle for breath after he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

A cross-party group of state parliamentarians have drafted a bill to allow people to choose voluntary euthanasia.

They will present it to state parliament in August.

“We’re talking about a person ending their life and we want to make sure there’s nothing else that can be done,” Mr Donato said.

“We need to make sure there’s appropriate safeguards,” he said.

The authors of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill include members of The Nationals, Greens, Labor, Liberals and an independent.

It would give people over the age of 25 in NSW the legal right to end their own lives with medical assistance.

To qualify under the draft Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, patients would have to be, in "reasonable medical judgement" and expected to die from their illness within 12 months.

The bill expects patients would be experiencing "extreme pain, suffering or physical incapacity".

The decision to end a patient’s life must be signed off by two medical practitioners, including a specialist.

A patient also has to be assessed by an independent psychiatrist or physiologist to guarantee they are of sound mind and the decision made of their own free will.

There will be a 48-hour cooling off period with patients able to rescind their decision if they wish.

Close family members will be able to challenge the patient’s eligibility in the Supreme Court.

Mr Donato said he had been contacted personally by people about the issue and said the community was supportive of the measure.

“It’s a sensitive issue and I want to make sure we get it right,” Mr Donato said.

“Before I’ve seen what the bill contains it’s difficult to make a comment.

“From the community members I’ve heard from, people are generally in support of it.”

Mr Donato warned that once the bill became law it would be difficult to repeal.

“I will continue to listen to the community and once I’ve read the bill, I will give a commitment one way or another,” he said.

The state’s premier Gladys Berejiklian has declined to reveal her stance on the bill.


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