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Tasmanian News

Voluntary euthanasia debate resumes

What promises to be a marathon week of thrashing out the details of Tasmania's latest bid at introducing voluntary assisted dying is playing out.

After previous failed attempts at euthanasia's legalisation in 2010, '13 and '16, this current one is courtesy of independent for Mersey Mike Gaffney in the upper house.

The idea of allowing an initial medial consultation for a prospective candidate via telelink has been tossed out, Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest explaining her reservations.

"This is the most appropriate time (for in person consultation) because this is where the first discussions are had, the first meanigful...this is an option I want to pursue as a patient, has a discussion with their doctor at that point."

Rosevears MLC and former tv news presenter, Jo Palmer, says there is no way a doctor assessing an applicant's eligibility via telehealth could know whether they are being coerced.

"Believe me, I have spent 20 years in a tiny little news studio, you would have no idea how many people could be in the room, giving you directions, talking in your ear, motioning to you what they want you to do, that is an absolute reality."

Huon MLC and general practitioner Dr Bastian Seidel was all in favour of allowing remote technology.

"Are we forcing them to travel from a nursing home, from Bruny Island to Huonville, from Flinders Island or somewhere else, why, why are we forcing them?"


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