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If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Who is eligible to apply for voluntary assisted dying?

To be eligible to apply for access to voluntary assisted dying the person must:

  • be an adult, aged 18 years old or more
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • ordinarily live in Victoria have been living in Victoria for at least 12 months at the time that they make their first application
  • have decision-making capacity
  • be diagnosed with a disease, illness or medical condition that:
    • is incurable
    • is advanced, progressive and will cause death
    • is expected to cause death within weeks or months (not exceeding 6 months), and
    • cannot be relieved in a way that the person considers tolerable.

See s. 9—Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Exception to death anticipated within 6 months

If a person is diagnosed with a disease, illness or medical condition that is neurodegenerative, that disease may be expected to cause death within 12 months.

See s. 9(4)—Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

What is decision-making capacity?

A person is presumed to have decision-making capacity in relation to voluntary assisted dying unless there is evidence that they do not. It is also acknowledged that a person's capacity to make decisions may fluctuate.

To have decision-making capacity, a person must be able to:

  • understand the information relevant to the decision relating to access to voluntary assisted dying and the effect of the decision
  • retain the information to the extent necessary to make the decision
  • weigh up the information as part of the decision-making process
  • communicate the decision and their views in some way (need not be verbal)

It is okay for the person to get practical and appropriate support to help them with the decision. The relevant information may be given to the person in a way that is appropriate to the person's circumstances. For example, by using modified language or visual aids.

See s. 4—Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

When a person is not eligible

A person will not be eligible to access the voluntary assisted dying program only because they:

  • have been diagnosed with a mental illness
  • have a disability.

See s. 9(2)—Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic)

  • s. 4—defines decision-making capacity
  • s. 6—when may a person access voluntary assisted dying?
  • s. 9—eligibility criteria for access to voluntary assisted dying

See Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

  • What is voluntary assisted dying?

Health Vic

This government site has information for the public, for people considering applying to access voluntary assisted dying and also for practitioners.

See Health Vic—Voluntary Assisted Dying(opens in a new window).

Updated