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What is assisted suicide?

Assisted suicide (physician or otherwise) is where a drug is prescribed/provided for the express purpose of enabling a person to kill themselves.
 
If the person cannot take the poison themselves, a physician or someone else may be asked to assist. This then becomes euthanasia. The Victorian legislation allows for both euthanasia and assisted suicide. 
 
As stated by the World Medical Association, physician assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession.

Suicide is always a tragedy and the effect of a suicide reaches well beyond the individual who takes their life. Each year, the Victorian Government spends millions on suicide prevention. However, at the same time, the door to suicide has been opened for certain groups of people by legalising euthanasia and physician assisted suicide.

It is incoherent and a contradiction to promote suicide as a tragedy as well as good public policy at the same time.
 
In Belgium and the Netherlands, deaths by euthanasia account for 4% of all deaths. If we had the same level of response here – euthanasia would be the sixth leading cause of death in Australia – double the current suicide rate and five times the current annual road toll. 
 
 

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