Medical Defences bill will ‘create havoc in the medical profession’

In an open letter to all SA Lower House MPs delivered yesterday (18th October), Doctors Opposed to Euthanasia have pointed out that the provisions of Steph Key’s Criminal Law Consolidation (Medical Defences- End of Life Arrangements) Amendment Bill 2011, as amended on the 29th of September will impose ‘a time consuming and unnecessary process’ that will ‘have a detrimental effect upon the care of our patient.’

“The amendments introduced by the Member for Morialta, John Gardner MP, that now form part of the bill will mean that every time there is a change in drug dosage or usage in caring for someone in pain at the end of life, we will be required to obtain two written opinions from two other specialists,” said group spokesperson, Daniel Thomas.

“This is an unnecessary step and one that will create havoc in the medical profession that will likely adversely affect the well being of our patients.”

The group understands that other medical groups have also expressed these concerns.

“As it stands, the bill, in part, attempts to provide protection for doctors going about their normal medical care practice, however, we already enjoy these protections under the 1995 Consent to medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act without this additional bureaucratic burden.” Said Dr. Thomas.

The bill should not proceed further.

19th October 2011

Copy of MPs letter attached.


  The DOE Letter

Full press release Medical Defences bill will ‘create havoc in the medical profession’