Voluntary assisted dying review begins

(Towfiqu Barbhuiya/Unsplash)

The legally required review of the first four years of the nation’s first voluntary assisted dying law has now begun, with a final report due by the end of 2024.

The review will not consider any changes to the legislation.

The review will instead evaluate systems, processes and practices which underpin the operation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act including safeguards and protections, equity of access, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board’s role and functions and the Department of Health-commissioned Statewide Pharmacy and Care Navigator services.

Those engaged in voluntary assisted dying, including doctors and families, will take part in a consultation process to gauge how voluntary assisted dying is operating since its introduction.

The review will be conducted by the Centre for Evaluation and Research Evidence and will apply recognised methods, practices and ethical guidelines throughout the evaluation process.

Only Victorian adults who have an incurable, advanced and progressive medical condition and who have decision-making capacity can access voluntary assisted dying.

Once the review concludes in 2024, the final report will be tabled in both Houses of Parliament.

Details: health.vic.gov.au/patient-care/voluntary-assisted-dying

Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said voluntary assisted dying law continues to give Victorians a compassionate option at the end of their life.

“By speaking with those involved in voluntary assisted dying, this operational review will allow us to look at how the law has been implemented and consider ways to make the existing system work even better for those who need it,” she said.