Victorians can find out more about how voluntary assisted dying laws – operating from next year – will work, with the release of a comprehensive suite of information.

Voluntary assisted dying means a person in the late stages of advanced disease can take medication prescribed by a doctor that will bring about their death at a time they choose. Only people who meet the requirements and follow the steps set out in the law can access voluntary assisted dying.

The new suite of information prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services comprises:

  • Voluntary Assisted Dying Laws – in easy English
  • Two fact sheets – Overview: Voluntary Assisted Dying and Understanding Voluntary Assisted Dying.

The easy-to-read overview includes background to the laws, what led to the law, who is able to access voluntary assisted dying, how voluntary assisted dying will work, the law’s many safeguards, when the law comes into effect and support services.

Understanding Voluntary Assisted Dying includes information in the overview but in more detail, and has additional information including in relation to people with a mental illness, those with a disability and people with dementia.

The easy English version is in a question and answer format with illustrations.

When the Victorian Parliament passed historic voluntary assisted dying laws last year, the Victorian Government committed to clearly explain how the laws will work. The laws come into force in Victoria on 19 June 2019.

Access to voluntary assisted dying is limited to people with an advanced disease that is expected to cause death within six months (or within 12 months for neurodegenerative diseases like motor neurone disease), people who have the ability to make a decision about voluntary assisted dying, are over 18 and have been living in Victoria for at least 12 months.

The law has many safeguards to make sure that it is the person’s own decision and that no one is under any pressure to access voluntary assisted dying.

Voluntary assisted dying is part of the Victorian Government’s broader reform to end of life care, which includes improving quality of palliative care, access to pain management and making sure individuals have a choice about how and where, they end their lives.

The information, which has also been translated, can be found on the Community and consumer information page on the health.vic website.

Person-centred services and care