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Victoria's voluntary assisted dying law: clinical implementation as the next challenge

Ben P White, Lindy Willmott and Eliana Close
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50043
Published online: 25 February 2019

Victoria's voluntary assisted dying law will soon come into effect; a remaining challenge is effective clinical implementation

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic) (VAD Act) will become operational on 19 June 2019. A designated 18‐month implementation period has seen an Implementation Taskforce appointed, and work is underway on projects including developing clinical guidance, models of care, medication protocols and training for doctors participating in voluntary assisted dying (VAD).1 While some have written on the scope of, and reaction to, the VAD legislation,2,3,4 there has been very little commentary on its implementation. Yet, important choices must be made about translating these laws into clinical practice. These choices have major implications for doctors and other health professionals (including those who choose not to facilitate VAD), patients, hospitals and other health providers. This article considers some key challenges in implementing Victoria's VAD legislation.

  • Ben P White
  • Lindy Willmott
  • Eliana Close

  • Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD

Correspondence: bp.white@qut.edu.au

Competing interests:

Ben White and Lindy Willmott have been engaged by the Victorian Government to design and provide the legislatively mandated training for doctors involved in voluntary assisted dying. Lindy Willmott is also a member of the board of Palliative Care Australia, but this article only represents her views.

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