The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act

Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Act commences on 19 June 2019.  

The Act sets out strict eligibility criteria and procedures enabling a person in the late stages of a terminal illness to ask for and access the medication for voluntary assisted dying.

The Act sets up safeguards to ensure that a person’s decision to request and access the voluntary assisted dying medication is fully informed, continuous and voluntarily.

Only the person seeking voluntary assisted dying can ask for it.  

A medical treatment decision maker (appointed by an Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker) or a Medical Treatment Agent (appointed by an Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) cannot ask for voluntary assisted dying on a dying person’s behalf.

A person cannot request voluntary assisted dying in an Advance Care Directive.  This is because the person making the decision to seek voluntary assisted dying must be able to make his or her own decisions through the process.

Information is available on the Victorian Government’s “Health Vic” website – www2.health.vic.gov.au.  

Euthanasia is a difficult topic. If this update raises any issues for you, you can discuss it with your GP or access the following services:

  • Lifeline (Telephone 13 11 14);
  • Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (Telephone 1800 642 066).