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Free access to ground-breaking medical research for terminally ill

This policy is dedicated to the memory of Andrew Neal who died from starvation over 56 days caused by stomach cancer, age 46 (3 April 2012).

There is much emotional debate in the media and community at this time related to the proposed assisted dying laws.

Convenor of  the Western Australia Party, Julie Matheson says "There is little or no mention of access to groundbreaking, although not yet proven, medical research programs by those diagnosed with a terminal illness." 

These programs should be included in any Parliamentary Bill to help the terminally ill or provided as a separate Bill if the current Assisted Dying Bill fails to gain support.

The Western Australia Party believes that those diagnosed with a terminal illness should be first allowed to partake in medical research programs that may not only benefit them, but also provide relief from pain and suffering, and make available valuable results for medical researchers and future patients.

The Western Australia Party also believes this research should be funded by the public medical system, so it is not limited to those with sufficient wealth.

Proposed Policy

  1. The Western Australian Government shall create and maintain a register within Western Australia of competent research into human terminal illness.
  2. Any person with the mental capacity to make considerate decisions and upon receipt of confirmation of the diagnosis of a terminal illness by a registered medical practitioner in Western Australia shall be:

 a)  given access without cost, to the above-noted register;

 b)  Including access to a qualified independent research professional whom shall discuss with the individual the pro’s and con’s of any and all potentially suitable registered research and medications, and provide an answer without bias to all questions raised by the individual;

 c)  The individual shall have the right to determine if the discussed research opportunities, identified above, occur in the presence and contribution of the individual’s specialist medical practitioner or in private.

 d)  The individual shall be given an opportunity to voluntarily and without coercion, take part in any current, open, and registered research identified as potentially providing relief in respect to the specific terminal illness.

 e)  The individual alone shall decide if taking part in research shall be concurrent with or to the exclusion of the individual’s specialist medical practitioner’s recommended medicinal or other treatment regimes.

 f)  The individual shall have the right, without question, to withdraw at any time from any such research. For the value of the research, the researcher may request, but is not entitled to coerce or in any other manner, force, the person withdrawing to contribute to a survey questionnaire.

 g)  Contributing to any particular research or withdrawing from any registered research shall not prevent the individual from contributing to any other registered research.

 h)  If at any time the researchers identify that a specific regime of specific research does not deliver a measurable benefit to the individual, the individual is to be advised as soon as is practicable of that failure to benefit.

  3.   The Western Australian Government shall fund the cost of any such research voluntarily undertaken by an individual. The benefit of the public funding identified here is that whereas currently medical costs are paid, under this model the public receive the benefit from; public education, encouraging research, earlier access to beneficial treatment and of receiving cost savings from greater confidence in research results.

 4.    The results of such research shall be made available to the public, with the exclusion of the private details of the individual concerned.

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© Copyright 2019 WESTERN AUSTRALIA PARTY. All Rights Reserved.

Authorised by S Phelan, Western Australia Party, 139 Coghlan Road, SUBIACO WA 6008

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