find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
Lawyer injected into heroin debate

Lawyer injected into heroin debate

A West Australian lawyer is the latest to join the debate on the legalisation of heroin.

THE legalisation of heroin debate continues to rage, with a West Australian lawyer the latest to join the fight.


Perth lawyer John Hammond, who represented deceased right-to-die campaigner Christian Rossiter, said severely ill people who want to kill themselves should be given heroin, reports

"Heroin should be available to medical practitioners to be used legally in a controlled medical setting,'' Hammond said. 

"It would be given to terminally ill and severely incapacitated people who'd given directions when they were mentally capable that they'd wanted to die in the easiest way possible.” 

He added: "It is my understanding that heroin is one of the best exit drugs, or end of life drugs. It should be made available for people who want to die in a euphoric and-or pleasant state.'' 

In the UK, a pharmaceutical version of heroin, diamorphine, is legally available from doctors and is used as a painkiller for people in palliative care. 

Euthanasia campaigner, Philip Nitschke, told media though heroin was "one of the best pain-relieving drugs there is'', and "exceedingly peaceful'', it was not as reliable as other drugs for ending life. 

Health professionals have also renewed the debate with Western Region Alcohol and Drug centre director, Geoff Soma, calling for heroin to be legalised, so that doctors may prescribe the drug to addicts, reports The Standard. 

“There is a group of people who do not respond to methadone or other available treatments,'' Soma said. 

“These are older addicts who are taking risks everyday with their lives and other people's lives. 

“It (legalising heroin) is worth a trial if it is controlled, has proper research and the positive impacts recorded.''

Meanwhile, Dr Alex Wodak, director of the alcohol and drug service at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, has called on the Federal Government to investigate whether long-term addicts who failed rehabilitation programs should be prescribed heroin as a last resort.  

“This group may be five per cent of all heroin users, but they have the biggest habit and they account for a disproportionate amount of crime,'' Dr Wodak said. 

“They may also be the ones that recruit new users, so getting that group out of the street-heroin market and into treatment will benefit everyone. It would also mean the rest of the community would experience less crime and pay lower insurance premiums as a result.'' 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyer injected into heroin debate
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...