Voluntary assisted dying laws partly invalid

Posted on December 4, 2023 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars, Opinion

“An important decision handed down recently in the Federal Court of Australia rules that part of Victoria’s euthanasia law (the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic)(‘VADA 2017’)) is invalid, as it authorises assistance with suicide, which is prohibited by Federal law.

The decision, of Abrahams J as a single judge in the Federal Court, is Carr v Attorney-General (Cth) [2023] FCA 1500 (30 November 2023). The implication is that similar provisions of other State and Territory laws are also invalid. The relevant federal law, sections 474.29A and 474.29B of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), in broad terms, makes it an offence to assist or encourage someone to commit suicide through use of a ‘carriage service’, most commonly by use of a telephone (either a voice call or a text message), email, or some internet service. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster looks at the implications of a recent decision.

Image from a Diocese of Sydney training day.