Based on an article by Chloe Booker
Doctors who help people die should be better protected under national and state laws which put them at risk of being criminally charged.
Monash University professor Paul Komesaroff and former judge Stephen Charles QC have called for legislation to provide doctors with a defence to homicide or manslaughter in this month's volume of the Medical Journal of Australia, released today.
The defence would be on the grounds of a doctor intending or reasonably believing it was necessary to prescribe or administer a drug to relieve the pain or suffering of a patient.
The "simple" legislative change is aimed at finding similarities in the long polarised debate on voluntary euthanasia law in Australia.
"There is a lot of common ground, in particular on the cluster of patients who are in the terminal stages of their illness," Professor Komesaroff said.
The Catholic church has long apposed any form of euthanasia without considering the doctors responsibility and right to alleviate pain where possible.
Doctors are charged with a heavy responsibility in this regard, they have to balance the right of a patient to feel less pain and the other unlikely outcome.
The present situation in law for doctors is ridiculous and should be changed.
Once this situation is remedied perhaps we could have a look at voluntary euthanasia without the cloud of religion blurring the lines.
People of sound mind and in pain(pain that can not be alleviated) wishing to avail themselves of euthanasia should be able to ask to be assessed by a panel of doctors, to see if they meet strict guidelines with regard to sound mind and physical condition.