Purcell will support voluntary assisted dying

Western District MP James Purcell has declared his support for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill before parliament this week, provided some amendments are included in the legislation.

Mr Purcell asked for constituency input into his decision and has had an ‘overwhelming’ influx of phone calls, emails and social media messages during the past week.

“This is such an emotional and sensitive issue. I understand the desperation of those who support the legislation and also the deep seated concerns of those opposed,” Mr Purcell said.

On radio this morning Mr Purcell said he would support the legislation provided the 12 month period was reduced and the patient's practising doctor be included in the process

"The family GP is in the unique position of understanding the history and family dynamics of a patient and I believe this will help alleviate some of the fears around coercion," he said.

This Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill is the result of more than two years of consultation and engagement with Members of Parliament, the community, health, palliative care and legal sectors. With 68 safeguards the framework is the safest and most conservative in the world and promises to provide Victorians with a terminal illness genuine choice at the end of their lives.

"I would like to express my thanks to those who have shared their very personal and painful stories with me and my staff over the past week, from both sides of the argument. I hope that by passing this legislation we are able to offer choice for those in the final stages of a serious illness.”