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Australia

In Australia, they use the term Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) to describe the law which allows self administration or physician administration of medication which will cause the death of a person who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Australia is divided into six states and two territories and, similar to the USA, each state and territory must pass their own law.

Of Australia’s six states, five of them now have a VAD law: Victoria (2017), Western Australia (2019), Tasmania (2021), South Australia (2021) and Queensland (2021). In the remaining state, New South Wales (whose capital is Sydney), MPs are under pressure to pass a VAD law too.

The two territories of Australia are the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory (NT). The NT was the first jurisdiction on earth where euthanasia was legalized. However, this was for a short time (1997-1998). Then, the Australian federal government overturned this law: only 9 months after the act came into effect, it was repealed by the federal parliament. From that moment on, the parliaments of both territories were deprived of their authority to debate and pass voluntary assisted dying laws. Numerous attempts have been made, but unsuccessful, in restoring these powers to the territories. 

2022-02 Summary of Legislation Australia

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Australia

Aid In Dying legally allowed

Aid In Dying not legally allowed

Legal Developments