In the morning of June 24, the South Australian Upper House approved final amendments and ratified the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2020. South Australia is now the fourth Australian state with a VAD law.
Earlier this month, on June 10, the South Australian VAD bill passed its final hurdle in the Lower House.
This is the first piece of Australian VAD legislation to explicitly extend the right of conscientious objection beyond individuals to institutions. In SA, hospitals will be able to exercise the right but aged care facilities will not. This ensures faith-based aged care providers will not be able to stop an eligible person accessing VAD in their home if they wish. This is an important addition. Laws in other states are silent on this issue.
It now heads to the Governor for royal assent. The law’s implementation period is yet to be confirmed, but we expect it will be no longer than 18 months.