Victoria's Voluntary Assisted Dying Act: navigating the section 8 gag clause

Bryanna Moore, Courtney Hempton and Evie Kendal
Med J Aust 2020; 212 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50437
Published online: 20 January 2020

Section 8 is an unwarranted infringement on communication between health practitioners and their patients

In November 2017, the state of Victoria passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic), legalising a model of voluntary physician‐assisted death for adults at the end of life who meet a number of criteria, including rigorously assessed diagnostic and prognostic requirements. The Act came into effect on 19 June 2019. Its implementation raises a host of challenges.1 Here we focus on one aspect of the new law that has been largely overlooked in ethico‐legal debates thus far — the section 8 gag clause.

  • 1 Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
  • 2 Monash Bioethics Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC



Courtney Hempton receives funding from an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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