NSW VAD Alliance Statement
We support the guiding principle of autonomy as the first pillar of medical ethics and the right of competent adults to make informed decisions about their own medical care.
Voluntary assisted dying (VAD) laws, with clear parameters and strict safeguards, allow eligible adults who are in the end stages of a terminal illness and suffering intolerably, to end their suffering at a time and place of their choosing and in the presence of their loved ones, if they wish.
This legal assistance to die must be voluntary for both the person and healthcare professionals. No-one is compelled to participate.
We acknowledge that VAD is just one option among many at the end of life. We also support better funding and access for palliative care; however, we recognise that, while palliative care is excellent and can accommodate the needs of the majority of dying people, even the best-resourced care cannot relieve the extreme suffering that some people endure.
More than 20 years of data — from overseas jurisdictions and now from Victoria where a VAD law has been in place since June 2019 — demonstrate that assisted dying laws operate safely and effectively.
We note the widespread public support for choice at the end of life and we urge the NSW Parliament to pass the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021.