Unpublished October 2020 – Euthanasia and Suicide

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Voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide is currently illegal in all states of Australia.

Victoria does not permit euthanasia, however Victoria became the first state to legislate for voluntary assisted dying (VAD). On September 29th November 2017, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2917 was passed and came into effect on 19 June 2019.Thus making Victoria the first state to legislate for voluntary assisted dying (VAD).

Under the provisions of the legislation, assisted suicide (otherwise referred to as voluntary assisted dying) may be available in Victoria under the following conditions:

• A person must be suffering from an incurable, advanced and progressive disease, illness or medical condition, and experiencing intolerable suffering.

• The condition must be assessed by two medical practitioners to be expected to cause death within six months (an exception exists for a person suffering from a neurodegenerative condition, where instead the condition must be expected to cause death within 12 months).

• A person must be over the age of 18 and have lived in Victoria for at least 12 months and have decision-making capacity.

• Though mental illness or disability are not grounds for access, people who meet all other criteria and who have a disability or mental illness will not be denied access to assisted dying.

Other processes and safeguards associated with the scheme are in place.

 Voluntary assisted dying

Voluntary assisted dying means a person in the late stages of advanced disease can take a medication prescribed by a doctor that will bring about their death at a time they choose. Only people who meet the all the conditions and follow the process set out in the law can access the voluntary assisted dying medication. 

Dying with Dignity Victoria

Founded in 1974, Dying With Dignity Victoria is a law reform and education organisation pursuing public policies and laws in the state of Victoria which enhance self-determination and dignity at the end of life. The purpose of the association is to relieve distress, helplessness and suffering for Victorians with untreatable, painful or terminal illnesses. More info

Resources:

Victorian government’s Better Healthhttps://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ServicesAndSupport/voluntary-assisted-dying

Dying With Dignity Victoriahttps://www.dwdv.org.au/

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