Insights on VAD in SA


Marking 40 years of advocacy for VAD

Voluntary Assisted Dying South Australia (VADSA) is this year celebrating forty years of advocacy for a legal end of life choice.

We were so pleased to see the South Australian Parliament pass the VAD Bill tabled by (now) Attorney General Hon Kyam Maher MLC in June 2021, supported by (now) Deputy Premier Hon Susan Close MP in the lower house. This was the 17th attempt to pass a VAD law in South Australia.

As you will remember, the VAD law came into effect on January 31, 2023.

The two reports on the operation of VAD in SA, published by the VAD Review Board and covering the five month period February to June, show that

  • 38 people have used the VAD substance to end their suffering, 27 by self administering the VAD substance and 11 through practitioner administration
  • An additional six people who were assessed as eligible for VAD, and had received a VAD Permit, died without using the VAD substance
  • 67 doctors have completed the VAD training
  • 60% of people had cancer
  • 56% of people with a VAD Permit died at home
  • 80% of people were in a palliative care program
  • 25% resided in a regional area.

Every VAD death is reviewed by the VAD Review Board. The Board also examines the request and assessment process for each person and provides advice to SA Health on areas where change may be needed.

Presiding Officer of the VAD Review Board, Ass Prof Mel Turner, will address the VADSA AGM on November 5.

You are welcome to join us at the Box Factory, Regent St South on Sunday November 5 at 2.15pm to hear from Dr Turner and ask questions about the implementation of VAD in SA.

The first annual report of the operation of VAD in SA is due to be tabled by the Minister of Health, Hon Chris Picton MP, in November.

Please indicate your intention to attend by return email to [email protected]