Voluntary Assisted Dying

The EMHS vision captures the essence of what we do, and what we inspire each other to do every day- show compassion, dedication, and professionalism.

Upholding patient autonomy and dignity are fundamental to the care we provide, and we recognise that Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) will soon be available to eligible persons in accordance with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 (WA) (the Act).

As a health service provider dedicated to delivering excellence in health care to the community we serve, we will be working within the legislative framework to ensure VAD is accessible to eligible patients from 1 July 2021 when the law comes into effect.

EMHS wishes to clarify their VAD approach which includes the following:

  • Each case of VAD is unique, with its own ethical, practical, and emotional considerations.
  • EMHS patients seeking access to VAD will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • EMHS patients seeking access to VAD will be offered palliative care, and the opportunity to complete an Advanced Health Directive (AHD) separate to the VAD process.
  • EMHS patients will continue to receive excellent quality usual care whilst their request for VAD is being assessed.
  • VAD will be delivered in a culturally aware and appropriate manner.
  • Where possible, eligible patients will be encouraged and supported to plan for VAD in the community.
  • An inpatient admission for VAD will be planned in a careful, considerate, and collaborative manner, to ensure patients and staff are supported throughout the process.
  • A VAD inpatient admission where possible will be to the patients’ usual care ward, and/or under their known treating team.
  • VAD is considered an elective procedure; therefore, VAD as an inpatient will not usually occur outside of normal working hours.
  • Support will be provided in EMHS hospitals for patients, families, and staff throughout the process by a dedicated EMHS VAD Program Manager.
  • Some patients will be found to be ineligible for VAD; they too will be supported, including being offered palliative care.
  • Patient autonomy will be balanced against the need to ensure staff and visitor safety in relation to possession and storage of the VAD substance whilst an inpatient.
  • A patient may withdraw consent for VAD at any time, including after admission with intent to administer the VAD substance.
  • EMHS patients seeking access to VAD will be encouraged to communicate their wishes with their GP, and any other health practitioners involved in their care.

EMHS patients in the community interested in information about VAD have a range of resources available to them, including approved information from the Department of Health. Links to some services are provided here: https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/voluntaryassisteddying. 

 

EMHS patients wishing to explore VAD in more detail should in the first instance contact their usual GP, or the Statewide Care Navigator Service (SWCNS) for help.

 

The SWCNS can be contacted from 1 July, when VAD becomes legal. Their contact number will be posted to this site on this date.

Starting conversations about death, dying, and the end of life with family members or anyone involved in your care can be challenging.

For assistance in how to start a discussion please see the following resource: https://dyingtotalk.org.au

The WA VAD Act has very strict eligibility criteria, and a person must fulfil all of them to proceed with a request to access VAD.

As a result, some people will not be eligible to access VAD, and this can be distressing to find out. /p>

Reassuringly there are many compassionate, caring options for supportive treatment towards the end of life offered by palliative care. /p>

Links to organisations for further information and support can be found here (link in this box):/p>

Last Updated: 31/05/2021