DWDWA is an incorporated not-for-profit association, founded in 1984 by members of the community who believed that every mentally competent person should, with appropriate safeguards, have a legal right to determine the time and manner of his or her death (a voluntary assisted death) and that a medical practitioner should be able to carry out this request.
The association represents a wide range of people, who support its work through membership fees, donations and bequests. It is run almost entirely by volunteers. It is closely aligned with other Dying with Dignity organisations throughout Australia and is a member of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies.
The objects of DWDWA as stated in its constitution are:
· To help relieve the distress, helplessness and suffering experienced by Western Australians with untreatable, painful or terminal illnesses, and to support their families and carers;
· To promote the best end of life care for our citizens, including high quality palliative care and voluntary assisted dying in appropriate circumstances;
· To educate and inform the community about end of life choices;
· To work for the successful passage through the WA Parliament of voluntary assisted dying legislation that is both safe and workable; and
· To promote every person’s right to die a good death, according to their wishes and beliefs.
· that death is part of life;
· that freedom of choice at the end of life is a fundamental human right;
· that voluntary assisted dying should be integrated into the existing end of life choices; and
· that a dying person’s wish to die at home should be facilitated where possible.
WHAT WE DO
- Promote a public conversation about end of life choices in order to change the existing atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding this final rite of passage.
- Provide information to members and the community about voluntary assisted dying, and promote active discussion and sharing of information via social media – see our Facebook page.
- Host and participate in public meetings, lectures and debates to raise awareness about dying with dignity.
- Work with medical practitioners to encourage people to make wills and sign advance health directives and to discuss their health decisions and end of life choices with their doctors and families.
- Advocate for voluntary assisted dying to be included in end of life choices, subject to eligibility criteria and safeguards for medical practitioners and patients.
- Lobby members of parliament to truly represent their constituents by passing safe and workable voluntary assisted dying legislation in WA.
- Urge West Australians to make their support for voluntary assisted dying known to every person with influence in any sphere to bring about this change in the law.
- Liaise with national and international Voluntary Assisted Death, or Dying With Dignity organisations and the media.
- Attend local, national and overseas forums on voluntary assisted death issues.
- Provide information on governmental legislative requirements relating to dying with dignity.
- Work and exchange information with:
- other dying with dignity advocates such as Go Gentle Australia and the Dying with Dignity associations interstate;
- medical practitioners, Palliative Care WA, Australian Nurses and Midwives Federation, the Police Union WA, disease organisations, aged care and disability sectors; and
- other like-minded organisations such as Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice and Christians supporting Voluntary Euthanasia,
to achieve our objectives.