Consultation has now closed

The ACT Government believes all Canberrans should have end of life choices that align with their rights, preferences and values. Canberrans should have access to quality health care, including end of life care, when they need it. However, we know that even with the best end of life care, some Canberrans with an advanced condition, illness or disease experience suffering near the end of their lives.

To promote the autonomy and dignity of those people, the ACT Government has considered how to legalise and regulate access to voluntary assisted dying, as all states in Australia have done. Eligible people should be able to make informed choices about the end of their lives, with the support of health professionals and services.

The ACT Government has introduced the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2023 in the Legislative Assembly. The Bill and Explanatory Statement are available to read at ACT Legislation Register.

The Bill sets out the government’s framework to provide eligible Canberrans with the right to make informed end-of-life choices that align with their preferences and values. The Bill provides a process for qualified doctors and nurse practitioners to assess a person’s eligibility, advise on and support the person with their end-of-life options, and comply with safeguards. For more information about the process, please read the summary of the framework proposed by the Bill.

The legislation will be subject to inquiry by a parliamentary committee before it is debated and passed into law.

Following this, the government will spend 18 months setting up the necessary systems and safeguards for the legislation's implementation, ensuring that voluntary assisted dying becomes a legal option for eligible people.

The Government has consulted widely to ensure the ACT framework protects and promotes human rights and includes the necessary safeguards, without being unduly burdensome, and has the support of the Territory’s clinical community.

We are grateful to everyone who contributed to our consultation. We appreciate that so many people had the courage to share powerful personal stories with us, to help shape better policy and outcomes for the ACT community.

What we looked at

We engaged directly with health professionals and stakeholders and with the community through YourSay on the following themes;

  • Eligibility - Who should have access to voluntary assisted dying?
  • Process - What process should a person follow to access voluntary dying?
  • The role of health professionals and health services
  • How could we monitor voluntary assisted dying to make sure the process is safe and effective?

What we heard

During our public consultation period, we received over 375 individual contributions and over 100 submissions from interested stakeholders. We held roundtables and workshops attended by more than 200 people including across the health, disability and aged care sectors. We also heard from nearly 3000 people who completed the YourSay Panel survey about the voluntary assisted dying consultation.

The Listening Report reflects the feedback we heard from our roundtables, meetings, workshops, and submissions from stakeholders and community during the eight weeks of public consultation held earlier this year between February and April.

We held more than 30 meetings with stakeholders to hear their views, including eight roundtables and workshops with key organisations representing health professionals, health consumers, residential aged care, disability, mental health, and First Nations communities. A series of snapshots, which summarise the key themes from each of our roundtables have been shared with participants and are available below.

Conversation Snapshot - Disability and Mental Health Communities

Conversation Snapshot - Health Professionals

Conversation Snapshot - Health and Aged Care Service Providers

Conversation Snapshot - Clinicians from Canberra Health Services

Yarning Circle Snapshot - First Nations

Discussion Guides

You can read short, simple Discussion Guides about key topics by clicking on each box below.

Language Icon

When you click each box, you will find the Discussion Guides in the following languages:

  • Easy English
  • English
  • Arabic / عربي
  • Simplified Chinese / 简体中文
  • Farsi/Persian / فارسی
  • Spanish / Español
  • Vietnamese / Tiếng Việt

We have used your views to

Your views helped to inform the development of a voluntary assisted dying model for the ACT.