First month of VAD in South Australia

During the first month of voluntary assisted dying in South Australia, 20 people commenced the process of requesting an assisted death. During the first month - February 2023 - six of those people completed the process and were assessed as eligible for voluntary assisted dying.

The six people now have the assurance that if their suffering becomes unbearable, they can make a final request to their Coordinating Medical Practitioner. Two pharmacists will then deliver the VAD substance to their home. The six people retain the choice of when and where to use the VAD substance, and who they wish to be with them.

For those six people, and the other 14 who have commenced the request process, it will be a massive relief to know they have a compassionate choice at the end of their life.

To have been assessed as eligible for voluntary assisted dying, each of the six people would have a terminal illness which is expected to cause death in less than six months, or 12 months for a neurodegenerative disease, and would have provided evidence that they have been resident in South Australia for at least 12 months.

Channel 7 reporter Sarah Wootton interviewed VADSA President, Frances Coombe, as part of her story on March 3. See report on Channel 7 News.