A Western Victoria MP has called for greater transparency surrounding the pre-existing conditions of those who are 'reportedly dying' from COVID-19.
Bev McArthur told Parliament that in order to make policy decisions there must be "absolute transparency of all information and statistics" relating to the coronavirus, including the circumstances of death.
"While it is an uncomfortable discussion, and may even be dismissed as inconsiderate; it is integral to understand what pre-existing conditions a patient may have been afflicted with prior to contracting the virus. It is important information and vital to ensure properly informed policy and regulatory decisions," she said.
"If all deaths are recorded as COVID, the patients who rejected resuscitation due to written 'living will' instructions, should also be noted."
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As of Monday morning, 565 Victorians had lost their lives to COVID-19.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton previously clarified that any individual who was COVID-19 positive when they died was included in the state's coronavirus death toll, irrespective of other potential causes of death.
In her adjournment debate, Mrs McArthur acknowledged every death was "devastating" and "deeply regrettable", but said the public had the right to know the circumstances.
"It is not sufficient to be told by the Premier that this young person or that aged-care resident died of the virus without knowing that there were other issues present that caused the patient to be especially vulnerable. People of all ages can be healthy or unhealthy," she said.
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"The government should have this information; if they don't have it, they should get it, and they should release the information by way of anonymous detail to the public.
"Extreme measures have been put in place to purportedly contain the virus. The public has a right to know all the facts and the justification for arbitrary rules surrounding all measures that are more severe than anywhere else in the world."
Mrs McArthur used the United States as an example, saying the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention regularly release in-depth data for COVID-19 infections and data.
On Monday, the Centres for Disease Control released data that showed for 6 per cent of the COVID-19 deaths in the United States, the virus was the only cause mentioned.
It was reported the other 94 per cent had underlying health conditions - which can include chronic breathing problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, among other health conditions - which contributed to their death in addition to COVID-19.
"If the United States can obtain this data and release it to the public, there's no reason why Victoria's health department can't and shouldn't do the same," she said.
"Victorians need clarity and facts, not fearmongering that makes good headlines."
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