Voluntary euthanasia becomes legal in Australian state
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Voluntary euthanasia becomes legal in Australian state

CANBERRA, Australia — Voluntary euthanasia has become legal in an Australian state more than 20 years after the country repealed the world’s first mercy-killing law for the terminally ill.

The process of dying in an assisted suicide after an initial approach to a doctor in Victoria state takes at least 10 days from Wednesday.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos expects as few as one patient a month will be assisted to die in the first year.

Australia’s sparsely populated Northern Territory in 1995 became the first jurisdiction in the world to legalize doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. But the Australian Parliament overturned that law in 1997 after four people had been helped to die.

The Australian Parliament does not have the same power to repeal the laws of states such as Victoria.

The Associated Press

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