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What’s next for VAD laws in Western Australia?

WA has become the second Australian state to pass laws allowing the terminally ill to legally end their lives.

The government’s Voluntary Assisted Dying bill passed the Upper House last week and the final amendments were ratified in the lower house yesterday.

Health Minister Roger Cook says he’s proud of the State Government’s work to get it through the houses of parliament, but says now the real work begins.

“We have the laws in place, we know from Victoria that we need to take our time to make sure that we have all the processes in place for training, for procedures,” he told Gareth Parker.

“We’ve got obviously a very wide health jurisdiction so we have to have the teams in place as well. So we’re going to take our time in doing that.”

The Australian Medical Association’s WA branch is now looking forward to working together with the State Government to help ensure the laws are beneficial for everyone involved and that the AMA is still committed to improving palliative care in the state.

“You can’t just necessarily go out and buy a palliative care system off the shelf,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do to build up the human resource that we need and I know that a lot of palliative care nurses for example just get burnt out because they’re working really hard and there’s not a lot of them so we need the money, we need the resource and I’m grateful the government has committed to fixing that.

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Liam Bartlett