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Healthcare & Aged Care Alert: Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation

The new Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (VAD) goes into effect from 19 June 2019. Victorians at the end of life who are suffering and who meet strict eligibility criteria will legally be able to request access to voluntary assisted dying (VAD).

There has been discussion in Australia around assisted dying for a number of years. Now, with the passing of the new legislation, Victorian healthcare organisations, healthcare practitioners and aged care service providers need to have a clear position on this topic.

Boards and management also need to consider the following:

  • Providing information to your employees on VAD, the changes to the law, practitioner referrals and supporting patients.

  • Considering the views of your employees.

  • Having policies and procedures around requests for VAD.

  • Governance and leadership arrangements in response to VAD requests.

Aged care service providers in particular need to review their policies and procedures in order to address potential issues, such as:

  • What if an employee conscientiously objects to VAD?

  • Will new clients be screened based on their views or intentions around VAD? Is this legal?

  • What are the privacy considerations for clients’ views and intentions around VAD?

  • What are the safety policies and procedures around transportation and storage of VAD medication?

WorkPlacePLUS can support you in updating your policies and procedures and educating your managers and teams. In addition, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides your staff with emotional and psychological support. For more information, please contact us today.

Leading Age Services Australia Member Benefit: WorkPlacePLUS offers special discounts to LASA Members. Please click here for details.

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