A new briefing paper from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research sets out 20 years of evidence supporting the introduction of voluntary assisted dying laws.
Written for Australian politicians and policymakers contemplating assisted dying law reform, the two-page document summarises the research led by Professors Ben White and Lindy Willmott.
The briefing consists of nine policy points supported by research:
- Australia should have VAD laws: they are ethical and VAD can be safely regulated.
- VAD laws must be evidence-based and consistent with intended policy goals
- There is now a broad “Australian VAD model” but each jurisdiction should pass a law most appropriate for its circumstances
- Designing VAD laws requires seeing how the entire legal framework operates
- “Piling on” ad hoc safeguards to already sound VAD laws does not make laws safer and can make them worse
- VAD systems must be workable so eligible patients can access VAD
- The Commonwealth Criminal Code must be changed: it is an unjust barrier for patients seeking VAD and their doctors
- Institutions should not have power to prevent their patients or permanent residents from accessing VAD
- Effective implementation of VAD is challenging but very important
The briefing document can be downloaded here
A compilation of the 37 research papers this policy briefing is based on is available here
Image courtesy of QUT