Euthanasia: Children should not be excluded

CHILDREN as young as 12 should have access to euthanasia under a new state scheme, according to the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties.

The group's president Michael Cope said the views of "mature minors" should be heeded in a submission to the Parliament's Inquiry into aged care, end-of-life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying.

"It is our submission that the views of mature minors on medical questions, including on voluntary assisted dying, should be respected," it said.

"We would define such a mature minor as a child over 12 years of age who ... has a sufficient understanding and intelligence to enable him or her to understand fully what is proposed."

However, extra protections should exist before a child's request to die is authorised.

It's proposed a child be assessed by an independent psychiatrist, at least one independent medical practitioner should have specific qualifications and experience in dealing with children and that the the request for voluntary assisted dying should not be based solely on an underlying psychiatric condition.