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Australia: HRC seeks expansion of VAD

The Australian Capital Territory’s Human Rights Commission has sought to amend the VAD law likely to be passed later this year to include minors and those who have dementia. HRC, “It is the Commission’s view that this extends to decisions for a child or young person to voluntarily end their life with dignity in the same circumstances as adults.”

In October 2023 draft legislation was introduced to the ACT parliament. The legislation is widely seen as an improvement on VAD laws in other Australian states as it does not restrict access to a timeframe before death and nurses are allowed to assess eligibility. Yet the human rights commissioner, children’s commissioner and disabilities commissioner want to have it extended.