Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying
Annual Newsletter and update April 2024

Dear Member/Supporter,
15 Years! It hardly seems possible that it is now 15 years since our group was formed, and I am delighted that all States in Australia have debated and passed Voluntary Assisted Dying laws enabling the choice of a compassionate end of life for those nearing death. Time and again I find it so rewarding to read reports of the peace of mind that getting the green light to access VAD gives people, and family often describe the passing of their loved one as peaceful and beautiful.
The Victorian VAD legislation has now been operating for five years. We are hopeful that the Australian Capital Territory will pass their legislation later this year. The Northern Territory has had a consultation process and may debate a bill after their next election. It is disappointing the NT had the first assisted dying legislation in the world with their Rights For The Terminally Ill Bill until it was overturned by the Howard Liberal government a year later.

Many of us have witnessed a loved one die with Dementia and would not want to go down that path themselves. Accessing VAD is not possible because mental capacity is required through the whole process of being assessed for VAD. One of the few other options available is to refuse administration of food and fluid using an Advanced Care Directive. This is an issue which can hopefully be addressed in the future.

Dr Rodney Syme discusses this situation in his book “A Completed Life” and it is available online from

How you can prepare:
1. Be informed of eligibility criteria in your state by checking out your local Dying with Dignity website or by contacting the Navigator Service in your state.
2. Be prepared : Have an up to date Advance Care Directive (ACD) which you have discussed with family, a valid will, Enduring Power Of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship in place.
3. Ask our own doctor if any doctor in the practice has done, or will do the VAD training course.
4. Contact your Federal MP and ask them to push for a change to restrictions on Telehealth for VAD which continue to disadvantage people in rural areas and those unable to travel to appointments. Lack of Medicare benefits for VAD also disadvantages poorer patients.
5. Consider attending a Death Cafe where the aspects of dying can be openly discussed, often with input from a Death Doula.

Overseas. Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands, Canada, Portugal, Spain and NZ all have active VAD laws. VAD is currently legal in ten USA states plus the District of Columbia, and another 16 states are considering a bill.
An Irish parliament committee inquiry has heard from witnesses, both for and against a bill, including VAD experts from Australia.
Progress is being made in Iceland, New Jersey, Isle of Man, Scotland and France. While in UK 74% of the population are in favour of VAD but the parliament is lagging behind!

Sadly many Church hierarchies continue to be vocal in their opposition. Because of this continued opposition and the need to have the laws passed in the territories, it is hoped that you will continue to be a member of our group. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Best wishes,


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