Voluntary Assisted Dying
Voluntary Assisted Dying is the name of a process for someone to access medication and legally choose the manner and timing of their death.
Often called VAD, it became a legal end of life choice for eligible Western Australians from 1 July 2021. That means that in WA, adults can now ask for medical help to end their life if they have a disease or illness that is so severe it is going to cause their death within 6-12 months, and their suffering can’t be relieved in a manner tolerable to them.
Key points in the voluntary assisted dying process in WA are:
- a person can only request access to voluntary assisted dying themselves
- two medical eligible practitioners must independently assess the request
- a person must make three separate requests to access voluntary assisted dying to confirm their intent
- a person can change their mind at any time.
If you want to talk to someone about voluntary assisted dying you can contact the Statewide Care Navigator Service. This is a free service established to assist all Western Australians with any aspect of voluntary assisted dying. To talk to one of their experienced health professionals contact the service on (08) 9431 2755 or VADcarenavigator@health.wa.gov.au.
To find out more about voluntary assisted dying in WA, please go to the End of Life Care page on the WA Health website.
While not everyone will be eligible for, or want to choose voluntary assisted dying, palliative care can be of benefit from the time of diagnosis of a life-limiting illness through to the end of life. Find out more about palliative care here.