Euthanasia in the Commonwealth of Australia
Issues in Law and Medicine. 1998 Spring; 13(4): 425-446.
This article describes the debate over the euthanasia law of the Northern Territory of Australia in its constitutional context. After considering the juridical status of the Northern Territory and related topics, this article outlines the judicial and legislative challenges to the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act (RTI Act) of the Northern Territory and concludes by offering some justifications for the passing of the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 (Commonwealth), which effectively repeals the RTI Act. In dealing with these issues special emphasis will be given to the problem of Commonwealth law overriding Territory law and the concept of fundamental common law rights. The appropriateness of a Parliamentary solution -- as opposed to a resolution through the courts -- is defended.