Access to Voluntary Assisted Dying in Victoria: Legal and Clinical Perspectives


Access to Voluntary Assisted Dying in Victoria: Legal and Clinical Perspectives

Health Law and Ethics Network Launch

On 19 June 2019, Victoria will be the first state in Australia to legalise assisted dying. The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic) establishes a strict regime for people at the end of life who are suffering to legally end their lives by taking a lethal dose of medication. Of the many safeguards in the regime, health practitioners cannot initiate a conversation with a patient about assisted dying. Patients must also be assessed as having cognitive capacity to request access to voluntary assisted dying. Additionally, health practitioners who have a conscientious objection may refuse to provide information about assisted dying or participate in any part of the process.

The Health Law and Ethics Network at Melbourne Law School presents a panel of experts to discuss the issues arising out of Victoria’s new assisted dying law. The evening will include presentations on the key features of the new legislation, the passage of the law through Parliament, implementation issues, and the clinical concerns raised by this model of voluntary assisted dying. The Panel will then explore some clinical scenarios that raise important questions around access to assisted dying for all Victorians.

The event, which is co-hosted with the Melbourne School of Government, marks the official launch of Health Law and Ethics Network at Melbourne Law School. The event will start at 5:30pm with drinks and networking which will be followed by the panel discussion at 6:00pm.


  • Dr Michelle  Taylor-Sands
    Dr Michelle Taylor-Sands , Senior Lecturer, Co-Convener Health Law and Ethics Network
  • Mr James  Cameron
    Mr James Cameron, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services; MLS
  • Mr Julian  Gardner
    Mr Julian Gardner, Chair, Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Panel
  • Dr Rowan  Hearn
    Dr Rowan Hearn, Clinical Director Palliative Medicine, Calvary Health Care Bethlehem
  • Dr Carolyn  Johnston
    Dr Carolyn Johnston, Senior Research Fellow in law and biotechnology