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Informing the Euthanasia Debate: Perceptions of Australian Politicians


Andrew McGee, Kelly Purser, Christopher Stackpoole, Ben White, Lindy Willmott and Juliet Davis

In the debate on euthanasia or assisted dying, many different arguments have been advanced either for or against legal reform in the academic literature, and much contemporary academic research seeks to engage with these arguments. However, very little research has been undertaken to track the arguments that are being advanced by politicians when Bills proposing reform are debated in Parliament. Politicians will ultimately decide whether legislative reform will proceed and, if so, in what form. It is therefore essential to know what arguments the politicians are advancing in support of or against legal reform so that these arguments can be assessed and scrutinised. This article seeks to fill this gap by collecting, synthesising and mapping the pro- and anti-euthanasia and assisted dying arguments advanced by Australian politicians, starting from the time the first ever euthanasia Bill was introduced.

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(2018) 41(4) UNSWLJ 1368: