Australia How will South Australia's new voluntary assisted dying legislation work? And when will it come into force?

09:37  24 june  2021
09:37  24 june  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Euthanasia is now set to become legal after the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed South Australian Parliament.

Here's a look at how it will work.

When will the voluntary assisted dying law come into force?

It has been a long time in the making with 17 attempts over 26 years.

The state is the fourth in Australia to do so, following Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania.

South Australia's Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill is modelled off Victoria's law, which has been in place for two years now.

It has been described as among the most conservative in the world and includes some 70 safeguards.

The South Australian government expects it will take about 18 months for the new voluntary assisted dying laws to come into force.

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Once that happens, eligible South Australians will be allowed to get medical assistance to end their life.

How does the voluntary assisted dying process work?

The voluntary assisted dying process starts with a doctor's visit when a patient first asks for medical help to die.

At that point, any doctor or nurse who does not want to be a part of voluntary assisted dying can choose to opt out of the process.

If the doctor is on board, he or she will need to check the patient is eligible.

They must be 18 years or over, an Australian citizen and have lived in South Australia for at least a year.

They must not have been coerced and, critically, they must have a medical condition that is incurable and causing intolerable suffering.

The terminal illness must be likely to cause their death within six months, for some conditions the length of time is 12 months.

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Who approves the patient's case?

It's up to the doctor to assess the patient's overall condition and, importantly, their ability to make sound decisions.

The pair must also have a lengthy conversation about the alternatives and risks of carrying out voluntary assisted dying.

If the doctor is satisfied, the patient is then referred to another doctor for a second opinion.

The second doctor repeats all of the questions and assessments, essentially cross-checking the work of the first.

If they agree, this is then ticked off by the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board, which will oversee all cases throughout the process from start to finish.

The patient then signs a formal declaration in front of the doctor, two witnesses and a contact person.

The final step

The final request to die must happen at least nine days after the patient's first request.

The head of the state health department will ultimately issue the permit, which allows the doctor to write a script for special drugs.

A pharmacist delivers the drugs in a locked box to either the patient or the doctor, depending on who is administering the medication.

Ultimately, it's left to the patient to make the final decision on when or whether they use it.

WA's voluntary assisted dying laws come into effect tomorrow as community leaders remain split .
Amid the fear, uncertainty and discomfort that comes with a motor neurone disease diagnosis, Graham is grateful he may have some control over when he can call time on a life well lived. Strict criteria govern the processAfter an 18-month implementation period, Western Australia's voluntary assisted dying laws come into effect on Thursday.In reality, very few people will be eligible, with strict criteria governing the VAD process.A person must be suffering from a medical condition that is advanced, progressive and is expected to cause death within six months, or within 12 months in the case of a neurodegenerative disease.

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This is interesting!