Assisted suicide increases by a third in one Australian state

assisted suicide pills, assisted suicide

Reports from the Australian state of Victoria indicate that, in just one year, the number of deaths from assisted suicide increased by one-third. Victoria was the first state in Australia to legalize assisted suicide in 2017.

According to a voluntary assisted dying (VAD) review board report, 310 people killed themselves through assisted suicide between 2020 and 2021; that number increased to 401 between 2021 and 2022.

Rather than being concerned that the number of deaths is increasing, officials seem to find it something to celebrate. “The number of people seeking to access voluntary assisted dying continues to increase,” chairman Julian Gardner wrote in the report. “This is a further indicator of the success of the system.”

Additionally, the board said it plans to advocate for assisted suicide through telehealth to be legalized.

“We are confident the risks identified through the initial public debate on the legislation have not eventuated, and the system overall continues to operate safely,” the report said. “The law as it exists creates barriers to access to care and, in some cases, imposes unreasonable travel demands on people suffering from life-ending medical conditions.”

READ: Canada issues booklet explaining assisted suicide to children

After legalizing assisted suicide in Victoria, the number of deaths by 2020 was 10 times higher than what officials had originally predicted — and it only continued to increase in every way. More doctors have signed up to commit assisted suicide, with an even larger increase in the number of doctors willing to actively euthanize their patients. Meanwhile, conscience rights have come under attack, with bills introduced that would have required all hospitals receiving public funds — even religious organizations — to participate in abortion and assisted suicide. And though a motion that allowed assisted suicide via telehealth consultations failed, as the board pointed out, efforts are still underway to make that a reality, despite warnings against it.

“Through in-person consultations, you get to know patients and with every consult and interaction you learn more about them and you can pick up on their unspoken body language, which can’t be ascertained through the internet,” Dr. John Daffy of the Australian Care Alliance said last year. “I understand the motivation, they’re doing it because of people in the country… but you’re talking about people killing themselves. It’s actually the most serious thing anyone would ever be involved in, and it would seem inappropriate to do it via telehealth.”

Additionally, as assisted suicide has grown across the country of Australia, elder abuse is also flourishing, which can lead to people being pressured into taking their own lives.

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