Chapter 1 notes that the nature of death and dying in Australia has changed over the course of the twentieth century and into the twenty‐first. The chapter considers the change over time in community sentiment in relation to assisted dying, and outlines mortality trends including age at death, cause of death and the various attempts at legislative reform.
Chapter 2 provides an overview of advance health care planning, beginning with the concept of capacity and including a summary of what happens when a person lacks capacity and there is a need for a treatment decision.
Chapter 3 explores palliative care.
Chapter 4 addresses the lawful options currently available to those with grievous and irremediable suffering.
Chapter 5 examines the international experience with assisted dying and provides an overview of the legislation, the models of assisted dying and recent statistics in nine overseas jurisdictions.
Chapter 6 reviews legislative reform and attempts for reform in other Australian jurisdictions. Between June 1993 and April 2016, 51 bills dealing with assisted dying were introduced into the various Australian parliaments at Federal, State and Territory level. Since then a further three bills have been introduced in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.