Voluntary Assisted Dying commenced in South Australia

Kym Watson, a writer from Victor Harbor, told a media conference on January 31 

"Because of this day and this moment I have a lot of weight off my shoulders."

Mr Watson has a number of medical conditions and has campaigned for the legislation for many years. As a committed christian, Mr Watson has spoken publicly about voluntary assisted dying as a compassionate choice which should be available to people at the end of life.

Mr Watson spoke at the January 31 media conference in the company of Hon Kyam Maher, the Attorney General, who introduced the legislation, the Minister of Health, Hon Chris Picton, and the Presiding Officer of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board, Dr Mel Turner. (Dr Turner is pictured behind Mr Watson.)

The Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Act commenced in South Australia on January 31, 2023.

This means that South Australians with a prognosis of less than six months, or 12 months for a neurodegenerative condition, may request assistance to die if their suffering becomes intolerable.

If you are a permanent resident in a residential aged care facility you have the same right to request VAD as anyone else living in their one home.

All public hospitals and hospices will support all aspects of voluntary assisted dying.

Some private hospitals and hospices may not support VAD and it is important that you check their approach to VAD if there is a possibility you may be admitted as your illness progresses.

Doctors are not allowed to discuss voluntary assisted dying with a patient until a patient mentions it.

More information on things to consider in making a request for VAD available here.

SA Health has established a Care Navigator Service which has nursing and allied health staff available to guide and support you through the VAD process and will assist in identifying a VAD trained doctor to do the VAD assessments.

Care Navigators can be contacted by email and phone during standard business hours (9.00 am to 5:00 pm).

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0403 087 390