Voluntary Assisted Dying First request


The information below is intended to assist practitioners to understand what their obligations are in relation to receiving a First Request from a patient.

It is recommended that practitioners refer to the WA Voluntary Assisted Dying Guidelines, resources and the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 where required.

Practitioners can also seek information and support from the WA Voluntary Assisted Dying Statewide Care Navigator Service on 08 9431 2755 or VADcarenavigator@health.wa.gov.au

Receiving a request for Voluntary Assisted Dying

From 1 July 2021 any medical practitioner who receives a request for voluntary assisted dying from a patient will have obligations as per the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2019) if the request they receive from a patient is:

  • clear and unambiguous; and,
  • made to a medical practitioner during a medical consultation; and,
  • made in person (or, if that is not practical, via audiovisual communication).

A request that meets the conditions above is known as a First request.

Responding to a request for Voluntary Assisted Dying

Any medical practitioner who receives a First Request for access to voluntary assisted dying during a medical consultation must:

  1. Give* the patient the Approved Information for a Person Making a First Request for Voluntary Assisted Dying (PDF 942KB) booklet| Audio (MP3 16MB)
  2. Decide if they are going to accept or refuse the First Request
  3. Inform* the patient of their decision
  4. Complete* and submit the First Request Form to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Board via VAD-IMS (external site)
  5. Document the following in the patient’s medical record:
  • the First Request
  • the medical practitioner’s decision to accept or refuse the First Request
  • if refusal, the reason for refusal
  • whether the medical practitioner has given the patient the Approved Information booklet.

*NB: Certain actions must be done within specified timeframes as per below:

  • If the medical practitioner refuses the First Request by reason of conscientious objection, they must immediately inform the patient of the refusal and give the patient the Approved Information booklet. In all other circumstances (both acceptance or refusal) the medical practitioner must inform the patient and give them the Approved Information booklet within two business days of the request.
  • The First Request Form must be completed and given to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Board within two business days of the medical practitioner’s decision to accept or refuse the First Request.
  • Under the Act there may be penalties for non-compliance with these requirements.

Refer to the Department of Health voluntary assisted dying website or the WA Voluntary Assisted Dying Guidelines (PDF 11MB) for more detailed information regarding medical practitioner obligations upon receiving a First Request including an example copy of the First Request form.

The following VAD-IMS guides may assist you to complete your submission:

Approved Information booklet

The Approved Information for a Person Making a First Request for Voluntary Assisted Dying (PDF 942KB) | Audio (MP3 16MB) booklet must be given to any patient who makes a formal First Request for access to voluntary assisted dying, regardless of whether you accept or refuse the First Request.

This Approved Information booklet meets the requirements of section 20(4)(b) of the Act.

Approved Information booklet translations

Afrikaans (Afrikaans)

العربية (Arabic)

Hrvatski (Croatian)

Nederlands (Dutch)

Deutsch (German)

Ελληνικά (Greek)

(हिन्दी) (Hindi)

Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)

Italiano (Italian)

Mакедонски (Macedonian)

Polski (Polish)

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi)

简体中文 (Simplified Chinese)

Filipino (Tagalog)

Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)

First Request Resources

The following process-related information sheets may be of specific interest:

The following health practitioner information sheets may be of specific interest:

The guidelines provide a comprehensive overview of voluntary assisted dying in Western Australia:

Further information resources can be accessed via Department of Health voluntary assisted dying.

For assistance with VAD-IMS contact the Voluntary Assisted Dying Board Secretariat unit via VADBoard@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 01-07-2021
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Health Networks