In Victoria MLC Stuart Grimley from The Justice Party announced the introduction of a Bill into the Parliament. This ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying Amendment (Telehealth and Other Matters) Bill 2021’ details amendments to the Victorian VAD Legislation.
These amendments hope to overcome impediments that have been encountered by Victorians trying to access the VAD scheme. The bill suggests that VAD consultations may be conducted via telehealth. The VAD Review Board in its last report stated that 36% of applications to access the scheme were from patients living in rural Victoria. These terminally ill individuals often immobile or too ill to traverse large distances to consult with the appropriate Medical Practitioners. The Bill also addresses eligibility criteria that relates to residency requirements and whether the definition of ‘suicide’ is pertinent to VAD.
The news of this announcement was widely reported ALL over Australia and greatly welcomed by groups such as DWDV who have been actively advocating for these changes over a length of time.