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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2665 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

that I shall be introducing legislation to that effect again prior to the end of this Third Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory. This is not an attempt to deal with that issue at all. This is about empowering people who are in pain. I believe that somebody who is in great pain ought to be able to make that decision.

I give one very quick example of a situation that I perceive this having an impact on. Somebody may share with a medical practitioner that they are an opiate dependant, a regular opiate user or even a constant user of some of the opiate-based drugs. Having built up a tolerance, such a person in great pain would invariably need a significantly larger dose of morphine than somebody who had not been using opiate-based drugs. Under those circumstances it may well be that the doctor is sworn to secrecy about the practice of the particular patient. A doctor then giving a large dose of morphine may well be seen by his peers to have acted inappropriately. That is just a small example of how the test can put extra pressure on a medical practitioner not to comply with a patient's wishes. We do not expect that that would happen particularly regularly. It would be a very rare occurrence. But it does show that a tone is added to the relationship between a doctor and a patient by the test that was added by the previous members of the Assembly. I believe that the test is unnecessary. It was seen to be unnecessary by the range of people I referred to before. I believe that we should remove the test so that the balance of power between the doctor and the patient moves just a shade further towards the patient.

Debate (on motion by Mr Osborne) adjourned.


MS REILLY (11.03): Mr Speaker, I move:

Noting that changes to the funding of public housing programs by the Commonwealth Government for the ACT in the 1996-97 and following years will allow the ACT government to sell public housing without the requirements as contained in the previous Commonwealth State Housing Agreement that the revenue from such sales be returned to public housing programs for the development of further public housing programs,

this Assembly directs the Government to ensure that:

(1) proceeds from the sale of public housing will be used for the purpose and construction of public housing and related programs which assist people in the Territory who are eligible to receive assistance for accommodation and the home purchase programs;

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