Two of Wyndham’s three major healthcare providers will not prescribe or administer euthanasia drugs despite the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill being passed in the upper house last week.
Star Weekly asked Mercy Health, which runs the Werribee Mercy Hospital and Mercy Palliative Care; St Vincent’s Private Hospital Werribee, which will open in January; and Western Health, which runs the Sunshine, Western and Williamstown hospitals, for their stance on euthanasia.
Victoria is likely to become the first Australian state to offer voluntary assisted dying after the legislation was passed in the upper house on Friday.
The bill will progress to its third and final debate in mid-November. However, even if the bill becomes law, healthcare providers will be able to refuse on conscientious grounds.
Mercy Health group chief executive Stephen Cornelissen said while the service would not practice euthanasia, it would not judge or deter any patient who wishes to be transferred to another medical facility to have it carried out.
“As a Catholic provider … Mercy Health would not prescribe or administer euthanasia drugs,” Adjunct Professor Cornelissen said.
A spokesperson at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Werribee said the hospital would also not provide services or support for euthanasia.
“We will always respect patients’ choices and if they wish to have their care transferred … we will support them in that choice.”
Western Health acting executive director of medical services Bernard Street said the organisation had yet to adopt a formal policy but it would “act in full accordance with the new law and associated guidelines” if passed.