Australia passes first euthanasia law

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 03 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1427

The Northern Territory parliament in Australia has sparked an international debate after passing the Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill, effectively making Australia a world test case for legal euthanasia. Although voluntary euthanasia is sanctioned in the Netherlands and Oregon, in the US, the Northern Territory is the first parliament to pass a law making it legal.

The new law means that terminally ill patients can end their lives with medical help as long as strict guidelines are met, including diagnosis by two experienced doctors, one of whom has psychological qualifications. Among amendments …

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