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Voluntary Assisted Dying

Voluntary Assisted Dying

As the peak body for palliative care in Western Australia, our position is that assisted dying (euthanasia and assisted suicide) is not part of palliative care as per the World Health Organisation and Palliative Care Australia definitions of palliative care.  We are guided by Palliative Care Australia’s Position Statement on Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide which is available on their website.

We recognise that our members have diverse views around assisted dying, from strong opposition to strong support.

The recent End of Life Choices Report (My Life My Choice) includes recommendations for voluntary assisted dying.  Palliative Care WA is hosting a series of forums to further discuss the recommendations in the report including those on voluntary assisted dying..  Should the Western Australian Government form an expert panel to develop legislation to allow for voluntary assisted dying (as recommended in the report) we strongly advocate that specialist palliative care practitioners be represented on that panel.

Voluntary Assisted Dying in Australia

Palliative Care Australia has published a set of guidelines for Voluntary Assisted Dying, for those providing care to people living with a life-limiting illness. There are seven guiding principles that aim to ensure appropriate care is provided as well as well as maintain appropriate, respectful and cooperative relationships between health and care professionals. These guidelines are national in scope and designed to sit alongside enacted state legislation where it exists, organisational ethical frameworks and professional codes of conduct.

Victoria is currently the only state or territory of Australia that has a Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.  Information related to this Bill is available on the Victorian Health Department website.

Voluntary Assisted Dying is currently being debated in the Western Australian parliament.


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