False advertizing to deceptively promote euthanasia
Is Self-Administration Enforceable?
By Margaret Dore, Esq.
Victoria’s deceptively named Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill uses the term, “self-administer,” at least 30 times. Indeed, self-administration of the lethal dose was a major selling point of the bill, to convince the public and Parliament that patients would be in control.
But, the term is not defined.
When a term is not defined, a court or other interpretative body will often look at how the term is used in other jurisdictions.
In the US, Washington State’s similar law also uses self-administer, which is defined as the “act of ingesting.” Washington’s law states:
“Self-administer” means a qualified patient’s act of ingesting [the lethal dose] …. (Emphasis added).
With this definition, a patient’s mere ingestion of the lethal dose is sufficient to comply with Washington’s law, for example, if the patient absorbs the dose via a patch while she’s sleeping.
With Washington’s law having an actual definition of “self-administer,” it would not be unreasonable for an Australian court or other interpretive body to adopt the definition. If so, the purported “safeguard” of a patient having to actively administer the lethal dose to himself or herself will be unenforceable.
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 Victoria’s bill can be viewed here.
 Washington’s law, § 70.245.010(12), states in its entirety: “Self-administer” means a qualified patient’s act of ingesting medication to end his or her life in a humane and dignified manner.
 “Ingest” means: “to take (food, drugs, etc.) into the body, as by swallowing, inhaling, or absorbing.”