Pilbara residents are urged to attend a public forum in Karratha this week to have their say on issues surrounding voluntary assisted dying legislation, due to be introduced into State Parliament later this year.
The Minister for Health and members of the Ministerial Expert Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying, including chairperson Malcolm McCusker AC QC, will travel to Karratha to attend the forum.
The forum will be held at the Frank Butler Community Centre on Thursday, May 23 from 9am-10.30am, and follows the March release of a discussion paper by the Ministerial Expert Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying.
Public forums have already been held around Perth, as well as in Kalgoorlie, Broome, Bunbury and Geraldton.
The McGowan Government extended consultation on the issue due to the high public demand and the success of the consultation to date. Along with Karratha, additional forums have also been arranged for the Peel region, Northam and Carnarvon.
An online session for people in rural and remote areas will also be held tomorrow (May 21).
Members of the public who cannot attend, can lodge written or online submissions for consideration by the panel before Friday, May 24.
The purpose of the discussion paper and the consultation is to assist the development of safe, compassionate and workable legislation which has appropriate safeguards for everyone involved.
The arguments for or against voluntary assisted dying will not be debated as part of this process.
Registration details for the forum, the discussion paper and more information about the planned consultation, webinar session and proposed legislation can be found at https://www.health.wa.gov.au/voluntaryassisteddying
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“There has been widespread support in this State for voluntary assisted dying reform, and the McGowan Government is committed to ensuring the highest quality end-of-life and palliative care for all Western Australians.
“We know the importance of regional consultation by the Ministerial Expert Panel, and are giving as many people as possible the opportunity to directly be involved.
“The public forums held to date have been well attended and have given the panel important insight into community views, which will help inform the expert panel’s final report to Government.
“Karratha is an important regional centre and I encourage members of the local community to take this chance to comment on the key issues outlined in this discussion paper, as this is an issue that impacts us all.”