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IDEAS FACTORY: The two sides of voluntary euthanasia

The Victorian Government is set to hold a conscience vote in parliament in the coming weeks on the controversial proposal to introduce voluntary euthanasia.

Neil Mitchell invited two doctors – on different sides of the debate – to discuss what legalising and regulating assisted dying would mean for doctors and families in Victoria.

NEIL MITCHELL: The debate begins in next week, it will get enormous attention. It is being intensely lobbied behind the scenes.

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, a former Victorian President of the Australian Medical Association, says while there palliative care model is not up to scratch, voluntary euthanasia is not required.

“Because (dying) is so charged, people worry about it,” he said.

“The conversation around it needs to be much more around giving people the tools, the understanding, the knowledge about death and dying and those processes and understanding that they can be alleviated, all the suffering can be alleviated.

“A dignified society looks after people, the things that worry them should be alleviated so they can die in peace.”

Dr Nick Carr, a Melbourne GP, is an ambassador for Dying with Dignity, and believes there’s a small group of Australians who are suffering who deserve the right to choose to die.

“There is suffering for which people experience for which no palliative care is going to be adequate,” he said.

“For those people, the choice about when to end their lives is the most important palliative care they can have.”

Click PLAY to hear the full debate on 3AW Mornings: