VAD Research Summary

In August 2021, Professors Ben White and Lindy Willmott published a summary briefing of 37 research papers on Voluntary Assisted Dying. The briefing lists nine factors for consideration and provides a link to each of the 37 research papers. Professors White and Willmott are recognised authorities on VAD law in Australia and work out of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at the Queensland University of Technology. The summary briefing is available here.

The electoral ramifications of supporting Voluntary Assisted Dying

Is it politically wise or unwise to support voluntary assisted dying laws?

Parliamentarians have traditionally shied away from taking a public stand in support of assisted dying, believing that it was politically toxic to do so.

Victoria under the Andrews government changed all that. After legislating VAD, the first state to do so, it then won a thumping victory in the 2018 State Election.

Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmanian governments have also seen no negative political fallout from backing assisted dying law reform – in fact the opposite.

Read the full report here.


State of the (Older) Nation 2018, a nationally representative survey for the COTA Federation (Council on the Ageing), undertaken by NEWGATE Research, December 2018

The survey of 2,562 people over 50, balanced for state, age group, gender, regional and city location, confirms that 84% of older Australians support VAD legislation. 74% of those identifying as Catholic also supported VAD. People over 50 represent one third of Australia’s population. The survey will be repeated each year.

See media release here. Read full report here.


Experience internationally of the legalisation of assisted dying on the palliative care sector; report prepared by Aspex Consulting for Palliative Care Australia, October 2018

The 66 page report examines the impact of voluntary assisted dying legislation on the delivery of palliative care services in the Netherlands, Belgium, Oregon, Washington State, Quebec Province and Canada. The report concludes that there is 

no evidence to suggest that the palliative care sectors were adversely impacted by the introduction of the legislation. If anything, in jurisdictions where assisted dying is available, the palliative care sector has further advanced. (p5)

Read report here.


Informing the Euthanasia Debate: Perceptions of Australian Politicians, Andrew McGee, Kelly Purser, Christopher Stackpoole, Ben White, Lindy Willmott and Juliet Davis, UNSW Law Journal, V41(4), 2018, pp1368-1417    

Six academics from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, QUT, have analysed the arguments used by MPs in Australia during parliamentary debates over the last two decades. Arguments pro and anti law reform are classified into different categories and the frequency of use for each argument noted. The authors conclude that debates would be enhanced by a focus on public matters rather than personal beliefs. 

Queensland Parliamentary Committee endorses Willmott and White ...

Read article here.


Future of assisted dying reform in Australia 

Ben White DPhil, LLB(Hons), Professor of Law, QUT
Lindy Willmott PhD, LLM, LLB(Hons), BCom, Professor of Law, QUT, CSIRO PUBLISHING, Australian Health Review November 2018

The article examines the potential for VAD legislation across Australia following the passage of the Victorian VAD Act in 2017. Ben White and Lindy Willmott wrote the background document for the Australia 21 Roundtable on VAD in 2013; Lindy Willmott is now on the board of Palliative Care Australia.

Read article here.

Lindy Willmott and Ben White

Evidence-based law-making on voluntary assisted dying

Ben P White and Lindy Willmott Australian, Centre for Health Law Research, QUT, December 2019

White and Willmott argue the case for law makers to be informed by evidence when they develop and consider legislation. In the same way that health policy is based on evidence and independent research, White and Willmott argue for a change in the way decisions are made on the detail of a law to use a similar evidence based approach. 

Read article here.

VADSA      phone    0421 305 684           email   [email protected]        post    PO Box 2151 Kent Town, SA 5071