Australia has reached another milestone in Voluntary Assisted Dying. For the first time a person used Victoria’s new voluntary assisted dying law to end her life.
This person was a regional Victorian woman. At the age of 61, she died in a nursing home on 15 July. She suffered from metastatic breast cancer. Her daughters who were at her bedside, described her death as “beautiful and peaceful”. The woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. The cancer metastasized into her bones, lungs and brain. In March this year, when the disease had also spread to her liver and the side effects from the chemo were no longer manageable, she made the decision to stop all treatment.
The daughters chose to share their story because it is evidence the Victorian legislation is working as intended: the eligibility criteria were met, the safeguards were worked through and their mother and her family experienced the compassionate and empowered death that the woman wanted.