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Voluntary assisted dying and telehealth: Commonwealth carriage service laws are putting clinicians at risk

Eliana Close, Katrine Del Villar, Lindy Willmott and Ben P White
Med J Aust || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51287
Published online: 11 October 2021

A Commonwealth law poses legal risks for practitioners acting under state and territory voluntary assisted dying laws

November 2017 marked the start of a significant shift regarding voluntary assisted dying in Australia. After numerous reform attempts,1 in a 4‐year period, five states legalised voluntary assisted dying: Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland (Box 1). A bill will be tabled imminently in New South Wales,2 and the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory have renewed their push for reform.3

  • Eliana Close
  • Katrine Del Villar
  • Lindy Willmott
  • Ben P White

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


Correspondence: eliana.close@qut.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

Eliana Close and Ben White prepared this article as part of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship project (Enhancing end‐of‐life decision‐making: optimal regulation of voluntary assisted dying [FT190100410]) funded by the Australian Government. Ben White is the grant recipient and Eliana Close is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the project. The Australian Research Council had no input into the study or its findings.

Competing interests:

Lindy Willmott and Ben White were engaged by the Victorian and WA Governments to design and provide legislatively mandated training for doctors involved in voluntary assisted dying in those states. Eliana Close was employed on both projects and contributed to the training content and design. Katrine Del Villar was employed in the WA project and contributed to the training content and design.

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