End of life decisions are filled with emotion, and religious, ethical and philosophical issues ignite debate.
Some form of human euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Albania and in the US states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico, Montana and California.
Euthanasia is currently illegal in every state and territory of Australia. For a brief period, it once was legal in the Northern Territory, by the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995. However in 1997, the Australian Federal Government overrode the Northern Territory legislation through the introduction of the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997.
Around the world, an increasing number of states and countries are allowing people to choose for themselves.
If you become incapacitated or die, what will happen to your pets?
Most pets are dependent on humans for food and shelter, and are unable to look after themselves. It is cruel and illegal to release your pet into the wild to fend for itself, and there may be environmental concerns even if it could survive. As a loving and responsible pet-owner you should include the future well-being of your surviving pets in your plan.
Genders & Partners is the oldest law firm in South Australia, and we have the knowledge, experience and sensitivity to ensure that the right provisions are made for the ongoing care of your pets if you should outlive them or lose the ability to care for them.
If you die or get carried off to hospital suddenly, your pet might be enclosed in a yard, a cage or inside the house. Your family has enough to deal with getting to grips with your illness or death, let alone worrying about a house full of pets. Will they even remember that you have a pet? Probably not for several days, if at all. We suggest setting up a South Australian Pet Trust, as this is a legal document which covers the ongoing care of domestic animals in specific circumstances, such as in the event of your death or incapacity. It names new caregivers or requests that trustees search for new homes for your pets. A trustee is then legally authorised to carry out your wishes from the day of your death or incapacity. A Pet Trust in South Australia differs from a Will, which may take weeks or months to come into effect, as it may require a Court process known as Probate.