Voluntary Assisted Dying

From 28 November 2023, eligible people in NSW will have the choice to access voluntary assisted dying. This means an eligible person can ask for medical help to end their life. The person must be in the late stages of an advanced disease, illness or medical condition, and, be experiencing suffering they find unbearable. Information about voluntary assisted dying in NSW can be found on the NSW Health website. There is also the VAD Care Navigator Service for advice as detailed below.

Given the role of the ADC, we may receive reports about older people or adults with disability who are believed to be subject to, or at risk of abuse in connection with voluntary assisted dying (VAD). For example, we may receive reports raising concerns that (among other things):

  • an older person or adult with disability is subject to undue pressure or duress to access VAD
  • an older person or adult with disability is subject to undue pressure or duress in being prevented from accessing VAD
  • an older person or adult with disability is not acting voluntarily
  • a witness or interpreter for an older person or adult with disability accessing VAD will benefit from the adult’s death.

Our approach in handling reports relating to VAD will be consistent with how we handle other reports to the ADC, including:

  • if the concerns relate to the conduct of aged care, disability or health providers or workers, we will refer the report to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and/or the Health Care Complaints Commission
  • if the concerns relate to the potential commission of a criminal offence (such as by dishonesty, undue influence or duress, inducing an older person or adult with disability to access VAD), our actions will include referring those allegations to NSW Police
  • we will primarily handle reports about abuse of older people and adults with disability relating to family members, informal carers, community members
  • our focus will be on understanding the views and wishes of the older person or adult with disability and upholding their rights.

More information about VAD Care Navigator Service

The VAD Care Navigator Service has been established by NSW Health to provide advice and assistance to people considering voluntary assisted dying, their family, friends and carers.

This service can also support health practitioners and health service providers to navigate the voluntary assisted dying pathway.

The  VAD Care Navigator Service is available Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays), 8:30am – 4pm on 1300 802 133 or NSLHD-VADCareNavigator@health.nsw.gov.au

Last updated:

28 Nov 2023

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Informed by lessons of the past, the Ageing and Disability Commission is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.

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