New York Times, December 1, 2017
Adam Baidawi

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MELBOURNE, Australia — The Australian state of Victoria on Wednesday became the country’s first to legalize assisted dying.

After a two and a half years of debate and amendments, Victoria’s Lower House ratified the euthanasia bill, handing a victory to the state government of Premier Daniel Andrews, who had lobbied heavily for the law.

Starting in mid-2019, the law will allow Victorians with a terminal, incurable illness — and, in most cases, a life expectancy of less than six months — to obtain a lethal drug within 10 days of requesting it.

The state joins the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Colombia and Luxembourg in legalizing euthanasia. Several other countries — and states and jurisdictions in the United States, including California, Washington, D.C., and Oregon — have passed laws allowing assisted suicide, in which doctors, in certain cases, may prescribe or suggest a means in which patients may end their own lives, without directly assisting in the act. [...]

bioethics end-of-life health law policy international public health regulation