Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 – Prepared by Wightons Lawyers
On 19 June 2019, the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 came into force. It allows Victorians suffering from a terminal illness to make a request to access voluntary assisted dying.
A person can only access voluntary assisted medication if they meet certain conditions. These are:
They are in the late stages of an advanced disease and expected to die in no more than six months (12 months if the disease is a neurodegenerative disease).
They are experiencing unacceptable suffering.
They have the ability to make and communicate an informed decision about voluntary assisted dying, and they are making a voluntary, continuing and fully informed decision about the process.
They are an adult, Australian Citizen, permanent resident, or live in Victoria and have lived in Victoria for the past 12 months.
If a person wishes to request voluntary assisted dying, they must:
Make two verbal requests.
Sign a written request, or direct another person to sign for them if they cannot sign themselves.
Be assessed by two different doctors, one of whom is a specialist in the field of your disease as eligible voluntary assisted dying.
A person wishing to participate in the assisted dying process must also appoint a contact person to assist with the process.
We understand that this legislation may be controversial and the process is reasonably complicated, for good reasons. If you would like further information we suggest you look at https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/hospitals-and-health-services/patient-care/end-of-life-care/voluntary-assisted-dying