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Business 2 Business column: how have VAD laws operated?

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As of January 1, 2023, an eligible person could choose to end their life under newly introduced Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws in Queensland.

A recent government report revealed, in the first six months of operation of the laws:

  • 591 people (comprising 331 males and 260 females) applied to access the scheme;
  • 245 people used the scheme to end their lives;
  • the average age of persons who completed their first eligibility assessment under the scheme was 73 – with ages ranging from 18 to 90-plus years;
  • 30 applicants withdrew their requests;
  • 29 applicants did not meet the eligibility criteria and could not further participate in the scheme; and
  • five applicants were initially eligible, however, did not meet the criteria at their second eligibility assessment.

The report states “raising awareness and understanding of voluntary assisted dying in Queensland is integral to enabling a high-quality, safe, accessible and compassionate scheme”.

Remember, VAD is different to making an Advance Health Directive (AHD). An AHD takes effect if you lose capacity. One of the eligibility criteria to access the VAD scheme is that you still retain your decision-making capacity.

Trent Wakerley, Director, Kruger Law, Level 3, Ocean Central, Ocean Street, Maroochydore, 5443 9600, krugerlaw.com.au

This column is part of our Business 2 Business (B2B) series featuring industry leaders sharing their expertise. For more great articles, SUBSCRIBE to our FREE news feed, direct to your inbox daily. All you need to do is enter your name and email below.

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