Victoria is the first state in Australia to pass voluntary assisted dying laws. The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2017) provides a safe legal framework for people who are suffering and dying to choose the manner and timing of their death.
Voluntary assisted dying means administering a medication for the purpose of causing death in accordance with the steps and process set out in law.
The law came into effect on 19 June 2019. Now people who meet the set of strict eligibility criteria are able to request access to voluntary assisted dying. All people at the end of life will be supported to receive access to appropriate end of life care options.
Key resources are available on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
A health practitioner may choose whether or not they participate in voluntary assisted dying. The Victorian Primary Health Networks is supporting a range of initiatives to enhance health practitioner capacity with regard to voluntary assisted dying.
The key activities include the following:
- To provide opportunities for medical practitioners who have completed the online voluntary assisted dying to participate in clinical networking and support.
- To support the provision of information about aspects of the legislation and guidance for general practitioners
- To develop evidence-based information for general practitioners through HealthPathways
Voluntary Assisted Dying Community of Practice for Medical Practitioners
Communities of Practice are “a group of people who share a concern, set of problems or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (Wenger, 2011).
All medical practitioners that have completed the online training are invited to participate in the community of practice. The community of practice is supported through a moderated online platform, with links to clinicians and the statewide services at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Alfred. The community of practice is convened by Western Victoria PHN.
Medical practitioners that have completed the training are able to email email@example.com to indicate interest in participating in the community of practice.
General information regarding voluntary assisted dying
This webinar looks at aspects of the legislation and provides guidance for GPs including:
- information on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017
- the major features of the legislation and eligibility criteria
- options for patients in Victoria with an incurable, advanced and progressive illness
- GPs’ roles in voluntary assisted dying
Voluntary Assisted Dying HealthPathways
General practitioners are able to access clinical and referral pathways and education resources through the HealthPathways sites.