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Victorian VAD law now 1 year in use

One year and 4 days ago (on 19 June 2019), Victoria’s historic voluntary assisted dying laws commenced. Despite opponents predicting a tsunami of death, the VAD Review Board’s report on the first 6 months of operation showed that the regime is working safely and effectively. On the first anniversary of these laws coming into operation there were a number of stories reported in the media.

Stories in the media 

  • Keith English: There was the moving story of the peaceful death of 96 year old Keith English, told by his daughter Marita Scott. 
  • Julian Bareuther: While the Victorian law is full of safeguards, there are some areas in which the the procedural requirements are excluding desperate people, with sometimes tragic consequences, such as the terrible suicide of Julian Bareuther, who met all of the criteria for VAD except the citizenship/residency requirement, despite having lived in Australia for 40 years. 
  • Allan Cornell: Another story told how Allan Cornell spent his final days gasping for air as he pleaded for medication to end his life. “It’s too hard,” Allan said. “Too much bloody box ticking. Why do the bureaucrats get to make things so hard for me? It’s my life.” 

Reflections from professionals