Voluntary Assisted Dying Board Annual Reports
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Board is required to prepare and give to the Minister for Health a report on the operation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 within 6 months of the end of each financial year.
The inaugural Annual Report 2021-22 was released on 23 November 2022 and it provides:
an overview, including of the events that lead to the implementation, of voluntary assisted dying in Western Australia
an explanation of the process and those who play an integral part in the process
data collected during the reporting period
the themes and challenges that have arisen in the first year of operation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019.
Voluntary assisted dying is about a person who knows they will die soon and is suffering in a way that cannot be relieved in a manner that the person considers tolerable. The ‘Year in review’ describes the people who made the choice to end their lives by voluntary assisted dying, the process of voluntary assisted dying and those who played a role in that process.
Their progress through the necessarily rigorous stages of assessment, final decision and administration is mapped by the data. Though a complex process, the ability of Western Australians to make the lawful choice of voluntary assisted dying, and to traverse the steps required to fulfil that choice, has worked well under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019.
Monitoring compliance with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 is the primary responsibility of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Board. The Board has established policies and procedures to maintain the integrity of the process in operation and ensure those who access voluntary assisted dying meet the eligibility criteria.
During 2021–22, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Board identified key areas for improvement to voluntary assisted dying:
The need for more practitioners to participate and complete the Western Australian Voluntary Assisted Dying Approved Training.
Amendments to the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 relating to the use of a carriage service that has limited the use of Telehealth for voluntary assisted dying in Western Australia.
Remuneration of participating practitioners who provide voluntary assisted dying services.
Adequate and ongoing funding to support the operation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 and access to voluntary assisted dying for eligible Western Australians including regional residents.
Identification of areas for review of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019.