Voluntary assisted dying

  • Voluntary assisted dying involves a process to access medication and to enable a person to legally choose the manner and timing of their death.
  • Put simply, voluntary assisted dying means that some adults could ask for medical help to end their life if they have a disease or illness that is so severe it is going to cause their death and they are suffering badly.
  • The term 'voluntary assisted dying' emphasises the voluntary nature of the choice of the person and their enduring capacity to make this decision.

Why is this being considered for Western Australia?

  • In 2017 a Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices (the Committee) was established by the Parliament of Western Australia.
  • The Committee undertook an Inquiry into the need for laws in Western Australia (WA) to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end-of-life choices.
  • The Committee handed down its report My Life, My Choice (the Report) to both Houses of Parliament on 23 August 2018 which outlined 52 findings and made 24 recommendations in relation to end-of-life choices.
  • Unnecessary suffering at end of life, and broad community agreement regarding individual autonomy, formed the basis for the Committee’s recommendation that the Western Australian Government draft and introduce a Bill for Voluntary Assisted Dying.
  • The WA Government considered its response to the Committee's report and instructed the Department of Health and the Department of Justice to implement the Committee’s recommendations relating to VAD, including developing legislation.

Register to attend a public consultation or provide feedback via an online survey, email or post.

  • During March, April and May this year the Ministerial Expert Panel will consult widely.
  • The Discussion Paper aims to promote discussion and generate suggestions at the metropolitan and regional consultations being conducted by the Panel.
  • The experience, knowledge and insights of the community and of experts on particular issues, will help in the development of fully informed and workable legislation, to ensure safe and compassionate processes for voluntary assisted dying.
  • Throughout the consultation period, the Panel will listen carefully and respectfully to differing views, comments and suggestions.
  • All feedback provided will help to inform the Panel's final report and recommendations to the Minister for Health.
  • Submissions that are considered by the Panel will be published on the consultation website (external site) unless the individual requests that their submission is not made public.
Ministerial Expert Panel
The Ministerial Expert Panel has been established to provide expert advice on the development of voluntary assisted dying legislation.

All information relating to the members, panel updates and related publications can be found on the Ministerial Expert Panel page.


The Discussion Paper and related documents are available in alternative formats below.

Discussion Paper audio files

The Discussion Paper Fact sheet is available in alternative languages on the Ministerial Expert Panel page.


Related links

If reading this information on voluntary assisted dying has raised distressing issues for you the following helplines can be contacted for support:

LifeLine WA 13 11 14 (available 24/7) or online chat www.lifelinewa.org.au 
The Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (available 24/7) or online chat www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Last reviewed: 18-04-2019
Produced by

Health Networks