Voluntary Assisted Dying
In episode five, we speak to Madeleine Archer from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at the Queensland University of Technology. Maddy’s research project is ‘Enhancing End-of-Life Decision-Making: Optimal Regulation of Voluntary Assisted Dying’. When Sean and Mel spoke about death and dying in 1999, the Commonwealth parliament had recently prevented the ACT and Northern Territory from enacting laws permitting euthenasia and no Australian state government appeared interested in the issue.
Since then, every Australian state has enacted a form of such laws. Maddy reflects that perhaps community attitudes have remained the same over the previous 20 years, but political change has seen euthanasia and voluntary assisted dying become permissible. Australian jurisdictions have also learnt from the experience overseas, particularly in Belgium and Canada. Nonetheless, our community may still have work to do regarding conversations about death and ensuring the best end of life care possible.
More about Maddy’s research: https://www.qut.edu.au/about/our-people/academic-profiles/mj.archer
QUT End of Life Research Program at the Australian Centre for Health Law Research school: https://end-of-life.qut.edu.au/
Maddy mentions her colleagues:
Professor Lindy Willmott: https://www.qut.edu.au/about/our-people/academic-profiles/l.willmott
Professor Ben White: https://www.qut.edu.au/about/our-people/academic-profiles/bp.white
Dr Eliana Close: https://research.qut.edu.au/achlr/dr-eliana-close/
On Medicare and VAD, with a focus on Western Australia see Casey M Haining, Lindy Willmott, Simon Towler and Ben P White research: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.5694/mja2.51787
and in terms of the experience in Victoria see https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027795362100900X?via%3Dihub
Research on the impacts of institutional objection to VAD see: https://bmcmedethics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12910-023-00902-3 Since our interview, there have also been changes with the Canadian assisted dying law. These changes will allow people suffering from mental illness to access the law (when that law comes into effect which is a while away): https://www.canada.ca/en/department-justice/news/2023/03/eligibility-for-medical-assistance-in-dying-for-persons-suffering-solely-from-mental-illness-extended-to-march-17-2024.html
More information about how VAD laws has been used in Victoria – https://www.safercare.vic.gov.au/about/vadrb
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Written and produced by Sean and Melanie on the lands of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples.
Copyright: Sean Costello and Melanie Skinner (not including the music and sampled audio).
Thanks to the audio sampled from somewhere in the late 1990s.