It allows a person in the late stages of advanced disease to take medication prescribed by a doctor that will bring about their death at a time and location they choose.
Melbourne City Mission (MCM) supports the introduction of a voluntary assisted dying scheme in Victoria, with safeguards that are enshrined in legislation and monitored through regulation to protect all citizens, but particularly those who are vulnerable to having their choices taken away from them.
In the context of choice and control, MCM affirms the valuable role of palliative care in end-of-life care.
The introduction of voluntary assisted dying must have a corresponding investment in palliative care, so that any citizen who chooses palliative care is assured of timely access to high-quality palliative care, delivered in the setting of their choice (home, hospital or hospice).
MCM makes it clear that in supporting the introduction of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria – and consistent with the legislation – MCM staff will have no role in administering voluntary assisted dying medication.
As a Palliative Care provider, MCM's role is to provide palliative care nursing and allied health supports, as part of a multi-disciplinary care team.
At all times, the care and support we provide is client-directed, reflecting the principles of client choice and control.
Consistent with this, we will create a safe space for clients to initiate conversations about voluntary assisted dying if they choose.
Further, if clients choose to access voluntary assisted dying, we will support that choice through the provision of information and referrals if we are requested to do so.
MCM's Palliative Care Service is one of largest in Victoria.
In 2018, the service helped over 900 people, of those 56 per cent died in their place of choice.
For more information: Including resources and information about voluntary assisted dying, visit the health.vic website.