Victorians who are terminally ill are one step closer to having access to voluntary assisted dying after the Legislative Assembly voted to pass the historic Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017, without any amendments.
This historic Bill is the result of more than two years of consultation and engagement with Members of Parliament, the community, health, palliative care and legal sectors.
The Bill will still need to pass the Victorian Legislative Council before it becomes law.
The Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee’s Inquiry into end of life choices heard from over 1,000 peoples both in person and through their submission process and the Expert Ministerial Advisory Panel heard from over 300 stakeholders throughout their consultations.
The legislation passed by the Legislative Assembly delivers on the safe and compassionate framework designed by the Ministerial Advisory Panel, chaired by former AMA President and neurosurgeon Brian Owler.
With 68 safeguards, the framework is the safest, and most conservative, in the world.
It will provide Victorians with a terminal illness genuine choice at the end of their lives.
After being read in the Legislative Council today, the Bill is expected to be debated in the Council in the sitting week starting Tuesday 31 October.
Should the Bill pass Parliament, there will be an 18-month implementation period before access to voluntary assisted dying will begin.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“This is a historic day for our state. We are one step closer to getting this done – but there is more work to do.”
“This week we have seen incredibly powerful contributions from all sides of the debate as Members of Parliament have shared their personal experiences and given this issue the consideration it deserves.”
“This vote brings us closer to giving Victorians with terminal illnesses the choice they deserve at the end of their lives.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020