Assisted Dying Legislation Update (2017)

Following the Parliamentary Committee’s Inquiry into end of life choices, the Government appointed a Ministerial Advisory Panel to develop voluntary assisted dying legislation for introduction into Parliament in 2017.

The interim report of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Ministerial Advisory Panel has just been released and is now available and can be downloaded. This interim report sets out the key issues, concerns and potential solutions provided to the Panel by people who participated in the consultation process earlier in the year. This included palliative care, health and community organisation representatives. The Panel received 176 written submissions in response to the publication of  the Panel’s discussion paper on 30 January 2017.  The discussion paper was developed to seek feedback on creating a safe and practical voluntary assisted dying framework.

COTA Victoria’s submission to the Ministerial Advisory Panel’s discussion paper on developing a Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill can be found here  Follow this link to read more

Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into End of Life Choices

The Victorian Legislative Council’s Inquiry into end of life choices in 2015 addressed end of life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying. The Victorian Government responded to the Inquiry in December 2016.

You can also download:

The summary and full report Inquiry into end of life choices
COTA Victoria Submission into End of Life Choices

Victoria’s end of life and palliative care framework

Victoria’s end of life and palliative care framework was released by the Minister for Health the Hon Jill Hennessy, MP in July 2016. The framework was the result of extensive consultation across Victoria during 2015 – 2016.  The End of Life and Palliative Care Framework will support more people with a terminal illness to die at home, and enshrine advance care directives in law for the first time in Victoria. Advance care directives will come into effect in March 2018.

You can also download:

Victorian End of life and palliative care framework
2015 COTA Victoria End of life Care Framework Submission

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Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is when a person discusses with those close to them and their doctor their preferences for their future medical treatment and personal care. Advance care planning is something that a person with capacity can do for themself.  (And the wishes of someone who does not have capacity should always be sought.)

Making legally binding advance care directives will be possible from March 2018. For further information please see Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016

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Palliative Care

$5 Million Palliative Care Boost to Support More Victorians to Die At Home

“All Victorians deserve access to the best possible end-of-life care which relieves pain and suffering and supports families and carers in their last days.” Jill Hennessy, Minister for Health

A new $5 million fund for community palliative care agencies to provide at home palliative care will support more Victorians with a terminal illness to be cared for, and die, in their place of choice.

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End of life issues

New education resources to help LGBTI seniors plan for end-of-life-care

The Department of Health has released new resources to support advance care planning and navigating My Aged Care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) seniors.

Continue reading about LGBTI Advance Care Planning

Plan your future care

People plan for the future in different ways:

  • insurance such as life, health, car, property, income
  • superannuation
  • trusts for the care of children with disabilities
  • registering for organ donation
  • making wills
  • making funeral plans.

Part of planning for the future is to make choices now in case of injury or illness.

This can include by making:

5 Responses to End of Life Issues

  1. Margaret T says:

    I hope the discussions include euthenasia to be discussed seriously.
    My husband died with Alzheimers’disease and it seemed so cruel for him to suffering the way he was. The same thing can be applied to people in the later stages of terminal cancer.
    I think we should be able to specify that we wish to die at a certain stage with a terminal disease. Surely the rules could be made tight enough to cover all contingencies IF a person wishes that to happen.
    When I saw how peacefully our Whippets were allowed to die when it was obviously the correct thing to do, it certainly made me think.

  2. Heather M says:

    NO palliative care in a hospital bed for me for up to 3 weeks.
    I want VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA to die in my home bed and go at a day time I choose = die with dignity.

    No one else should have the right to tell me I cannot do this. Safeguards are running in overseas countries for this and Australia needs to join the world.

  3. COTA Vic says:

    How can we best ensure quality of life until end of life. The issues Margaret and Heather raise are the stories behind the services and supports. How do we ensure there is adequate and appropriate palliative care for home, in hospice care and institutions? This means not just attending to pain management but holistically addressing the person’s individual circumstances, needs and choices. The Inquiry into End of Life Decision Making wants to hear these stories as they highlight the lived experience of people facing end of life. Keep your comments coming. COTA is exploring what does it mean to have ‘informed choice’ within current legislative frameworks and what safeguards are essential when considering other models that include Euthanasia and assisted suicide. We must all participate in this important debate. Thank you for both sharing what is difficult and painful.

  4. susan says:

    as an only daughter , i knew my dad was dying. In hospital treatment of me and my dad was disgusting and i find it hard to forget. i dont think hospital staff know how to care for older (89) , mentally sound people who are dying. There was no assistance for us at all until dads heart gp was contacted and then two days before he died he was put in a ‘quiet’ room where we were even easier to ignore. mydad took a week to pass away , most of it in severe pain.

  5. bmorton says:

    Your experience demonstrates a lack of respect, dignity and care. It highlights a range of issues in particular the care provided to older people that are dying – and their family. Was there palliative care being provided? The lack of emotional, physical and spiritual care you experienced was traumatising. Please let the Hospital Patient Advocate know. Make a complaint when you feel able to. Let the Inquiry know about your experience. Thank you for sharing what is clearly a deeply painful experience.

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