A draft voluntary assisted dying bill intended to be debated in Parliament in August has been released for consultation.
The bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council by Mersey independent MLC Mike Gaffney after other voluntary assisted dying bills failed to pass through the lower house on three occasions between 2009 and 2017.
The End-of-LIfe Choices Bill is intended to provide a voluntary assisted dying process to people deemed eligible for the procedure and legal protections to those who provide the assistance.
According to the draft bill, a person seeking to medically end their life must first make a request to a medical practitioner with specific training in the field and who will be the first to determine their eligibility.
A patient would need to have first been born in Tasmania or have living in the state for 12 continuous months before the first request was made.
The person must be deemed to be suffering intolerably due to their medical condition or through complications that have arisen due to treatment and where there is no medical treatment available to improve their condition, health or wellbeing.
They must also have decision-making capacity.
A medical practitioner to whom a first request is made may refuse to accept the request for any reason.
This includes holding a conscientious objection to providing assistance to the person to die.
The practitioner will not be required to provide reasons for refusal to the patient.
A practitioner who refuses a request must immediately note their decision in the patient's medical records.
A practitioner that accepts a request will become the patient's primary medical practitioner.
They must notify the Registrar of Assisted Dying that the first request has been approved and must either refer the person to another medical practitioner for examination, request all relevant medical records, or request consultation with a psychiatrist or psychologist.
A person must not make a second request to the primary medical practitioner within 48 hours unless they are likely to die within seven days or lose their decision-making capacity in two days.
The practitioner who has determined the second request must refer the patient to a consulting medical practitioner for a second opinion and provide all medical records.
The consulting medical practitioner can refuse to accept the referral on similar grounds as those applied to the primary medical practitioner.
If two consulting medical practitioners to whom a person has been referred determine they are ineligible to receive assistance to die, the process ends.
A person can decide at any time to cease the process either orally or in writing.
If the final request is approved, an application is made to the Registrar for a substance prescription, and if approved, it is supplied to the primary practitioner through a pharmacist.
Mr Gaffney will discuss the bill at forums in all municipalities for the first stage of consultation.
He said a second round of forums will be held between March and June to specific groups statewide upon request.
"It is my intention to table the bill on August 21 and speak to it soon thereafter," Mr Gaffney said.