Voluntary assisted dying

All states now provide legal access to voluntary assisted dying (VAD) – and the territories are expected to follow suit. However, barriers remain to many Australians having equal opportunity to utilise this lawful end-of-life option.

What’s the problem?

At the federal level, it remains a crime for medical practitioners to use a ‘carriage service’, such as a telephone or the internet, to provide information about suicide.

Despite the fact that VAD is not suicide, the federal government has taken a hard line, refusing to clarify that the ‘carriage service’ law does not apply in cases of doctors supporting their patients wishing to access VAD. 

This law continues to pose a legal risk for doctors and particularly disadvantages people living in rural or remote areas, where VAD-trained doctors are less available for face-to-face consultations.

What we're doing

We’re lobbying the major parties and other members of the federal parliament to encourage them to support reform of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Amendment (Suicide Related Material Offences) Act 2005.

What you can do

You can write to your local federal member of parliament or state/territory senators, or arrange a meeting with them, to voice your support for our position.

You can also consider helping us to make an impact by becoming a member of the Rationalist Society of Australia or making a donation.

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