There is no universally agreed definition of ‘voluntary euthanasia’. Terms such as dying with dignity, medically-assisted dying, physician-assisted suicide and voluntary assisted dying are also used. The VEP regards voluntary euthanasia as involving a request by a terminally or incurably ill person for medical assistance to end his or her life painlessly and peacefully. A doctor may administer the medication or prescribe medication that the patient self-administers.
Why support voluntary assisted dying law reform?
Australians want change
Repeated polling over 25 years has consistently reported overwhelming support for voluntary assisted dying law reform. The most recent Roy Morgan Poll, carried out in November 2017, showed 85% of Australians support voluntary assisted dying.
Palliative care cannot always alleviate all suffering
We support the provision of palliative care but even the best palliative care cannot guarantee that some patients won’t be forced to endure unrelievable suffering.
Dying with dignity should be a basic human right
We agree with the historic decision of the Supreme Court of Canada that has allowed voluntary assisted dying for a competent adult with a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition. Carter v. Canada, (Attorney General, 2015)
People should not be forced to endure pointless suffering at the end of their lives.
Assisted dying laws provide reassurance to people with terminal or incurable disease that they will not be left to suffer the pain and indignities of a traumatic death.
These laws work
There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates in overseas jurisdictions that have legalised voluntary assisted dying, these laws work safely and effectively.