1 July 2021

Voluntary Assisted Dying comes into effect in Western Australia

Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) has today become accessible to eligible Western Australians.

The landmark legislation, which was passed in December 2019, enables eligible people to request access to assisted dying through a medical practitioner from today.

Every eligible Western Australian who wants access to VAD can be assisted by the Statewide Care Navigator Service which is staffed by experienced health professionals.

Key points in the VAD process include:

  • a person can only request access to VAD themselves
  • two medical eligible practitioners must independently assess the request
  • a person must make three separate requests to access VAD to confirm their intent
  • a person can change their mind at any time.

During the 18-month implementation period, services such as the Statewide Care Navigator Service, mandatory training for participating doctors and nurse practitioners, the Statewide Pharmacy Service and the Voluntary Assisted Dying Board were established.

The recently appointed board will have an advisory and monitoring function to ensure adherence to the legislation and report to the State Government as necessary on quality and safety improvements if required.

Strong safeguards are in place to ensure a person's request for access is voluntary and they are not being pressured.

Patients must be informed of treatment and palliative care options, as well as the voluntary assisted dying process. There are 10 stringent steps in the voluntary assisted dying process.

Special attention has also been paid to ensuring equitable access for all Western Australians, regardless of where they live through the WA Voluntary Assisted Dying Regional Access Support Scheme which provides funds to support access to VAD services for regional and remote residents. Funds can support patients to travel to see a doctor or have a doctor travel to them.

View detailed information and newly updated resources for health practitioners and consumers.