The first person has used Western Australia’s new voluntary assisted dying laws to end their life in what Premier Mark McGowan says is a historic moment for the state.

The person has not been identified and the family is asking for privacy.

“We passed these laws so terminally ill Western Australians, who are suffering, could have the compassionate choice to end their lives with dignity,” Mr McGowan said on Thursday.

“I can only imagine what an emotional time it must have been for the person involved and their loved ones.

“Death is a difficult issue, and we don’t like thinking about what the end of our lives may look like.”

WA’s new laws came into effect this month, with about 60 people expected to peacefully end their own lives within the next 12 months.

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The state was the second after Victoria to activate voluntary assisted dying though new laws were recently passed by the South Australian and Tasmanian parliaments.

Under the WA scheme, terminally ill adults in pain and likely to have less than six months to live – or one year if they have a neurodegenerative condition – will be able to take a drug to end their lives if approved by two medical practitioners.

Mr McGowan said he was sure many people would find comfort in the fact they nor their loved ones would be forced to suffer needlessly at the end of their lives.

“That is why so many Western Australians fought so hard for so long to bring about these laws, and why the WA community supported them so emphatically,” he said.

AAP

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