Published by Francesca Trimboli

Voluntary Assisted Dying: Solution or Problem?

Based on extensive consultation and inquiry, a bill to enable medically assisted death will be introduced to the Victorian Parliament before the end of 2017.

Under the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Act, people suffering an advanced and incurable illness, medical condition or disease will be able to seek a medically assisted death from 2019.

The proposed Act will include a number of safeguards and exemptions. The person with the condition, illness or disease must be of sound decision-making capacity, their condition must be expected to cause death within 12 months, and it must be judged that their suffering cannot be relieved in a manner that is tolerable to the person. People under the age of 18 are excluded.

Only the person experiencing these conditions can initiate a request for assisted dying. Two doctors, one of whom is a specialist in the person’s particular condition, must assess the person. People treating patients, including doctors, have the right to conscientiously object to participating in any part of the process. 

While there has been significant debate around the ethics of voluntary assisted death, there has been little opportunity for health professionals to explore the impact of the legislation on their delivery of care.

Health Issues Centre wishes to understand the views of people who work in medical practice such as General Practice, physicians, specialists, allied health, nursing, palliative care and end-of-life care and ambulance workers. Add your voice on our Facebook page: Voluntary Assisted Dying: Problem or Solution? 

Published by Francesca Trimboli

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