Voluntary assisted dying may soon be possible in Western Australia after the state government announced plans to introduce a bill in parliament next year.
An 11-member expert panel, chaired by former WA governor Malcolm McCusker, will help draft the bill.
It comes after a parliamentary inquiry found voluntary euthanasia should be possible for people experiencing “grievous and irremediable suffering” from a progressive terminal, chronic or neurodegenerative condition.
Both major parties have previously said MPs will get a conscience vote on the issue.
Health Minister Roger Cook said research showed most people in WA supported voluntary assisted dying but the government remained committed to ensuring high-quality palliative care too.
“The introduction of a voluntary assisted dying bill will provide those individuals who are experiencing grievous and irremediable suffering associated with advanced and progressive terminal conditions with an additional choice,” he said on Monday.
The parliamentary committee, which received about 700 submissions and held 81 public hearings, was made up of Labor, Liberal, Greens and Nationals MPs.
They recommended that to be eligible for voluntary assisted dying a person must be at least 18 years old and live in WA.
But health professionals should not be forced to participate, the committee said.
Only Liberal MP Nick Goiran provided a dissenting minority report, saying “assisted suicide” was a “recipe for elder abuse”.