Ministerial Advisory Panel Voluntary Assisted Dying

Here's the guidelines on Victoria's assisted dying model.

Ministerial Advisory Panel

Voluntary Assisted Dying

Features of the Recommended model

Eligibility limited to people who:

  • Are diagnosed with an incurable disease, illness or medical condition that is:
    • advanced, progressive and will cause death;
    • expected to cause death within weeks or months, but no longer than 12 months; and
    • causing suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner the person deems tolerable.
  • Must have decision making capacity;
  • Be an adult, 18 years and over; and
  • Be ordinarily resident in Victoria and an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Requests for accesss to voluntary assisted dying must be initiated by the person.

Two medical practitioners must undertake independent assessments of a person's eligibility.

To ensure the request is enduring, the person must make three separate requests to access voluntary assisted dying over a period no shorter than 10 days.

A written request must be witnessed by two persons in the presence of the coordinating medical practitioner, one of whom must not be a family member, cannot be a beneficiary of the person's will or be a recipient in any other way of financial or other benefit resulting from the person's death; an owner or operator of a health care or accommodation facility at which the person resides; or directly involved in providing health or professional care services to the person.

Any health practitioner (or service) may conscientiously object to participating in voluntary assisted dying.

The prescription of the lethal dose of medication would require a stringent authorisation process.

People would be provided medication for self-administration that would be required to be stored in a locked box.

Unused medication would be required to be returned to the dispensing pharmacist within 30 days of the person dying (by someone appointed as a "contact person").

In the rare instance where someone loses physical capacity, the coordinating medical practitioner would be able administer the lethal dose of medication, in the presence of an independent witness.

A Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board would be established to review every case and report on the operation of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria, ensure statutory requirements are complied with, refer breaches to appropriate bodies, collect information and data, and support improvements in the framework.

The Board would be required to report to Parliament on the operation of the framework every 6 months in the first two years after commencement, and thereafter annually.

The legislation would be reviewed 5 years after commencement.

The legislation would provide clear protection for health practitioners who act in good faith and without negligence.

Offences would be introduced for:

  • Inducing a person, through dishonesty or undue influence, to request voluntary assisted dying;
  • Inducing a person, through dishonesty or undue influence, to self-administer the lethal dose of medication;
  • Falsifying records related to voluntary assisted dying;
  • Administering a lethal dose of medication to a person who does not have decision-making capacity.

In order to prepare for implementation, there would be an 18 month period between the passage and commencement of voluntary assisted dying legislation.

The proposed model with its comprehensive set of 68 safeguards would be the most limited and conservative Voluntary Assisted Dying Framework in the world.

© 2022 Right to Life Australia. All Rights Reserved.