Dying with Dignity WA is campaigning for legislation that fundamentally protects the freedom to choose to end suffering at the end of life within a framework that provides safeguards for doctors and the person dying.

While we have been out and about engaging with the community, media and Members of Parliament, we have also been clear about our view that palliative care remains critically important to providing a good death at the end of life.

There are 6 quick facts about palliative care that people need to be aware of in this campaign but before reading them we need to report on:

Breaking News - PCA adopts a neutral position on assisted dying

On 5 September 2019 Australia's peak palliative care body, Palliative Care Australia updated its position on voluntary assisted dying. They are no longer opposed to VAD and have adopted a neutral position. 

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) Board Chair Dr Jane Fischer says the organisation has updated its position statement on Palliative Care and Voluntary Assisted Dying for the first time since 2016, in light of the legislative change in Victoria and the current parliamentary action on the issue in other jurisdictions.

“This position statement is the culmination of a large body of work and consultation PCA has undertaken in the past 12 months to explore voluntary assisted dying and its impact on palliative care.

“We recognise that the topic of voluntary assisted dying raises difficult and complex ethical issues, and that there is a broad spectrum of opinion and a level of support for reform within the Australian community which reflects diverse cultures, belief systems and populations.

“A decision about whether or not to legalise voluntary assisted dying is one for parliaments. PCA neither advocates for, nor argues against, the legalisation of voluntary assisted dying.

You can read the full PCA Media Release here.

6 Quick Facts about Palliative Care

There are 6 quick facts about palliative care that people need to be aware of in this campaign:

The End of Life Choices cross-party Parliamentary Committee’s ‘My Life, My Choice’ report, which recommends legalising voluntary assisted dying with appropriate safeguards also acknowledges and recommends more funding and resourcing for the palliative care sector across WA. Click here for more information

WA has a first-class standard of palliative care, which includes high-quality community care in metropolitan Perth provided by Silver Chain. Click here for more information

The WA Government through the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, Roger Cook, has clearly stated its support for the recommendations in the ‘My Life, My Choice’ report calling for more resourcing for the palliative care sector in WA. Click here for more information

The Government Bill to legalise voluntary assisted dying in WA is being drafted in consultation with a panel of experts appointed to provide advice to government on a safe and compassionate framework for the legislation. Over a third of the panellists are palliative care specialists. Click here for more information

A 2018 report commissioned by Palliative Care Australia found that the palliative care sector has been further advanced in overseas jurisdictions where voluntary assisted dying is legal. Click here for more information

Another 2018 report, written by Palliative Care Australia following a study tour of Canada and Oregon, found no evidence to suggest that people access voluntary assisted dying because palliative care services were inadequate. Click here for more information.   

 

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