Voluntary assisted dying: Our approach
Victoria's voluntary assisted dying law comes into effect on 19 June 2019. It allows a person in the late stages of advanced disease to take medication prescribed by a doctor that will bring about their death at a time they choose – often at home supported by family and friends.
Alfred Health's approach
Even with the highest quality palliative care, some people may experience suffering that is unacceptable to them. If they wish, they have the right to access voluntary assisted dying.
If a patient requests to access voluntary assisted dying, we will support them to find a doctor (often their general practitioner) in accordance with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017. Where possible, we will support patients to return home.
We will work closely with patients, families, staff, the Voluntary Assisted Dying State Navigators and the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure all parties are adequately supported through the process.
Our medical specialists will be able to provide expert opinion on a person's prognosis or capacity.
State-wide pharmacy service
The Victorian Government asked The Alfred to develop a state-wide pharmacy service to support the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017.
The state-wide pharmacy service is responsible to import, store, prepare and dispense medications for Victorians who make the choice to access voluntary assisted dying. This approach ensures safe handling of the medication, and provides opportunity for education.
Our pharmacists will deliver the medications to patients in their homes, wherever they live in Victoria. They will also carefully explain how to take it, and answer questions.
The service offers phone support and advice to co-ordinating medical practitioners about the prescription of voluntary assisted dying medications.
It’s important to remember that the first step for a person choosing to access voluntary assisted dying is to ask a doctor about it.
For more information, including resources and information about voluntary assisted dying, visit the health.vic web site.