Learning from the Victorian voluntary assisted dying experience

With voluntary assisted dying to become an end of life choice available to Western Australians from mid-2021, health professionals, service providers and caregivers can register to attend a series of webinars to learn about the preparation and implementation experiences of their Victorian counterparts.

This initiative, running throughout this month, is being led by the WA Department of Health’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Leadership Team which is tasked with preparing those who will be involved in a professional capacity to ensure they are well informed and prepared for implementation.

This involves preparing educational resources including a handbook, guidelines and fact sheets, consulting on models of care such as a care navigator service, developing participating practitioner guidelines and overseeing an information and communication technology system solution.

WA Primary Health Alliance General Manager Strategy and Engagement and member of the Implementation Leadership Team, Chris Kane, said given voluntary assisted dying will take place in a number of settings, it is vital that all those who will be directly involved are clear about what they need to do to prepare and assume their future roles and responsibilities.

“People requesting to access voluntary assisted dying need to be assured that the health professionals or other caregivers they approach are well informed, and able to provide appropriate, informed and compassionate advice and support,” Ms Kane said.

“We owe it to the people of Western Australia, who have clearly indicated their wish to die when the time is right and the necessary conditions are met, to allow them to do so with dignity and the utmost care.”

You can register for the webinar most suited to your area of expertise below:

19 November – Preparing for voluntary assisted dying: Palliative Care providers

23 November – Preparing for voluntary assisted dying: Hospital and related service providers

24 November – Preparing for voluntary assisted dying: General Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners

25 November – Preparing for voluntary assisted dying: Residential Aged Care providers

More information on voluntary assisted dying is available on the WA Department of Health’s website.

Helplines

Some people may find issues relating to end of life care distressing. If this story has raised any issue for you, there are helplines and services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement: (03) 9265 2100 or 1800 642 066 (free call, Australia-wide

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