On 29 November 2017, less than two weeks after the NSW VAD Bill failed to pass in the NSW Upper House by just one, the Victorian Parliament made history by becoming the first Australian state to approve the introduction of a voluntary assisted dying scheme.
The Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Law was the result of an impeccable process. Following a 10-month Parliamentary Inquiry Into End Of Life Choices, the most comprehensive of its kind ever held in Australia, the cross-party committee tabled its report in mid 2016, which included a recommendation to introduce voluntary assisted dying legislation. In December 2016, the Premier, Daniel Andrews, and his health minister, Jill Hennessy, announced they would follow that recommendation and they appointed a Ministerial Advisory Panel to draft their legislation led by former AMA President, Professor Brian Owler.
Nearly one year later, after more than 100 hours of debate across both houses of the Victorian Parliament and two demanding all-night sittings, Lower House MPs ratified the Victorian Government’s amended Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.
Outside Parliament House, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, told reporters that “This is a day of reform, a day of compassion and a day of giving control to those who are terminally ill….I’m proud we have put compassion right at the centre of our parliamentary and political process."