Terminally ill Victorians accessing VAD

Daughter supporting her terminally ill mother lying on hospital bed, hospice

Fifty-two Victorians suffering at the end of their lives with a terminal illness have accessed voluntary assisted dying in the first six months of Victoria’s historic law.

In the second report of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board, activity was detailed under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 from 19 June to 31 December 2019.

During that time:

  • 136 people commenced the assessment process through the portal
  • 81 people were issued with permits
  • 52 people died from taking prescribed medications
  • All cases examined by the Board were compliant with the law

The Board can confirm that all reviewed cases within the first six months of the Act were compliant with the law,” said the Board’s Chairperson Betty King.

“The Board follows up with the contact person for each case and gains important feedback about how voluntary assisted dying is working. We have shared some of these learnings in our report.”

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

The care navigator service provides information and support about voluntary assisted dying for the community, doctors and health services, and the statewide pharmacy service dispenses and delivers the medication to the person or their coordinating doctor.

Support packages are also available for people accessing voluntary assisted dying to help ensure fairness and equal access.

The second report of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board was tabled in the Victorian Parliament today.

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