Voluntary assisted dying in Victoria: ethical challenges in implementation

Project Details

Key Aims/Outcomes

This empirical bioethics project investigates ethical challenges in the implementation of Victoria's new legislation allowing voluntary assisted dying.  The project aims to capture hospital staff views about the legislative change, challenges in practice, and necessary organisational supports.  The project also aims to investigate equitable patient access to VAD.

Project Summary

From 19 June 2019, Victorians at the end of life who meet strict eligibility criteria will be able to request access to voluntary assisted dying.  Patients can request physicians to either prescribe a lethal substance for them to ingest, or in limited circumstances, ask physicians to administer a lethal injection.  This legislative change creates substantial new ethical complexity in delivering end of life care.  How can hospitals best support their staff to provide high quality care to all patients at end of life, in the context of this morally controversial legislative change?  How should the health system support equity of access to assisted dying for patients in Victoria?


Dr Rosalind McDougall

Dr Bridget Pratt


August 2018 to December 2021

More Information

Ros McDoughall