First six weeks of VAD in South Australia

Six people have used voluntary assisted dying to end their suffering in the first six weeks of voluntary assisted dying in South Australia.

Announcing this, the Presiding Officer of the VAD Review Board, Dr Mel Turner (pictured above), said that overall the feedback from families had been positive and that they were working with medical practitioners to encourage more of them to do the VAD training. A doctor must be registered as VAD trained before they can do any VAD assessments. At this stage there are 44 doctors who have completed the VAD training in South Australia.

In the first six weeks

  • 32 people made a first request
  • 11 permits have been issued (this is the final step before a prescription is written)
  • at least six people used the medication
  • 54 medical practitioners have registered their interest in completing the VAD training (in addition to the 44 who have completed the training).

Minister for Health, Hon Chris Picton, MP, told the ABC that he urged more doctors to complete the training so that "more people can get access to the end of their life in a peaceful and dignified way".

VAD Care Navigators in SA Health can assist in identifying a VAD trained doctor for anyone who is considering requesting an assisted death. Care Navigators can be contacted at

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0403 087 390

If you or a friend or relative is considering VAD, remember to get your paperwork organised: your passport or citizenship certificate to prove citizenship; evidence of 12 months residency in SA, such as a utility bill, pension card or driver's licence. And ask your doctor to give you a written copy of your diagnosis and prognosis. That will be helpful for your VAD assessment.

If you are a permanent resident in an aged care facility, you have the same right to request VAD as anyone else living in their own home, regardless of the policy of the aged care institution. If your aged care manager has not yet advised you of your rights in relation to VAD, then you could ask them for a copy of their policy. SA Health has provided every aged care facility with information on their obligations under the VAD Act to facilitate a resident’s request for VAD.

The statement from SA Health is available here.