Laws regarding euthanasia or assisted suicide in Australia are matters for state
governments, and in the case of the territories, the federal government.
In Victoria an assisted suicide scheme has been in place since June 2019, and
a similar scheme came into effect in Western Australia in July 2021. Tasmania
passed voluntary assisted dying legislation in March 2021 and expected to go
into effect in October 2022 (18 months after) and South Australia passed
similar legislation in June 2021. Voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide
are illegal in all other Australian states and territories.
Euthanasia was legal for a period between 1996 and 1997 in the Northern
Territory, until a federal law overturning the territory law (and removing the
right of territories to legislate on euthanasia) was passed. In Australia
the Federal Parliament can overturn laws passed by territories, whereas states
retain the right to independently legislate on particular issues, such as
Throughout Australia a patient can elect not to receive any treatment for a
terminal illness and can also elect to have their life support turned off.
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