This Research Note discusses terminology and key aspects of the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017. It provides an overview of legislative attempts in Australia to introduce similar frameworks, and overseas jurisdictions where voluntary euthanasia and/or assisted dying are currently in place.
In May 2015, the Victorian Legislative Council agreed to a motion for the Standing Committee on Legal and Social Issues to inquire into, consider, and report on the need for laws in Victoria to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end of life choices. In June 2016, the Committee tabled its final report, Inquiry into End of Life Choices, and made 49 recommendations, including that Victoria should legalise assisted dying.
The Andrews Government released its response to the Committee’s report in December 2016, committing to review the implementation of an assisted dying framework in Victoria. That led to the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Panel tasked with looking at how voluntary assisted dying would look in practice. The Panel submitted its final report in July 2017 and made 66 recommendations, informed by the work previously undertaken by the Standing Committee. This work provides the context and the foundation for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017.