The Western Australian government will extend community consultation over assisted dying laws, ahead of introducing legislation to parliament.
A 13-member expert panel, chaired by former WA governor Malcolm McCusker, recently released a discussion paper and has called for public comment.
Health Minister Roger Cook said there was widespread community support for voluntary euthanasia laws and the government remained committed to ensuring the highest quality end-of-life care.
“We have listened and responded to the community and members of parliament regarding regional consultation by the expert panel and are giving more people the opportunity to directly be involved,” Mr Cook said on Friday.
“The public forums held to date have been well attended and have generated thoughtful discussion and important feedback to understand community views.”
The government will now hold extra public forums in Mandurah, Carnarvon, Karratha and Northam.
Written submissions can also be lodged.
Mr Cook said public consultation was crucial to ensure WA had “safe, compassionate and effective” legislation.
The consultation process follows a parliamentary inquiry that received about 700 submissions and held 81 public hearings.
The inquiry found voluntary euthanasia should be possible for people experiencing “grievous and irremediable suffering” from a progressive terminal, chronic or neurodegenerative condition.
When legislation is brought before the parliament later this year, MPs will have a conscience vote and Premier Mark McGowan has urged his colleagues to address the issue on its merits.
© AAP 2019