(Failed) voluntary euthanasia law reform in Australia: Two decades of trends, models and politics
Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Stackpoole, Christopher, Purser, Kelly, & McGee, Andrew (2016) (Failed) voluntary euthanasia law reform in Australia: Two decades of trends, models and politics. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 39(1), pp. 1-46.
Within Australia, there have been many attempts to pass voluntary euthanasia (VE) or physician-assisted suicide (PAS) legislation. From 16 June 1993 until the date of writing, 51 Bills have been introduced into Australian parliaments dealing with legalising VE or PAS. Despite these numerous attempts, the only successful Bill was the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995 (NT), which was enacted in the Northern Territory, but a short time later overturned by the controversial Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 (Cth). Yet, in stark contrast to the significant political opposition, for decades Australian public opinion has overwhelmingly supported law reform legalising VE or PAS.
While there is ongoing debate in Australia, both through public discourse and scholarly publications, about the merits and dangers of reform in this field, there has been remarkably little analysis of the numerous legislative attempts to reform the law, and the context in which those reform attempts occurred. The aim of this article is to better understand the reform landscape in Australia over the past two decades. The information provided in this article will better equip Australians, both politicians and the general public, to have a more nuanced understanding of the political context in which the euthanasia debate has been and is occurring. It will also facilitate a more informed debate in the future.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
Repository Staff Only: item control page