Voluntary Assisted Dying Commission

Role of the Commission

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Commission (the Commission) is to be established under the End-of-Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Act 2021 (the Act) and will be a regulatory body reporting directly to the Minister for Health. Its primary role will be to oversee the operation of the Act.

Its key responsibilities include:

  • monitoring and reporting on the operation of the Act
  • providing assistance to persons who want to access voluntary assisted dying
  • issuing authorisations and approvals as required by the Act
  • reviewing applications and decisions as specified within the Act
  • maintaining documentation as required by the Act
  • making and approving procedures, policies and guidelines in relation to the operation of voluntary assisted dying, as specified in the Act
  • distributing information regarding the functions of the Commission and the operation of the Act
  • investigating, reporting and making recommendations on matters relating to the operation or administration of the Act
  • communicating concerns about compliance or non-compliance with the Act
  • other functions that may be prescribed.

The Commission will be supported by state service employees to be appointed by the Minister for Health as considered necessary to assist the Commission in the performance of its functions. Neither the Commission nor its employees are subject to the control or direction of the Minister (except as specified in the Act).

Role of Commission Members

Members of the Commission are appointed jointly by the Minister for Health and the Attorney-General under the Act. Commission members will collectively exercise the functions and powers of the Commission, with three members of the Commission constituting a quorum. Individual Commission members or staff may also exercise functions and powers of the Commission as may be delegated by the Commission from time to time.

The Act specifies that one Commission member shall be the chairperson of the Commission and the Executive Commissioner. Another Commission member shall be the Deputy Executive Commissioner whose role is to act as the Executive Commissioner when the Executive Commissioner is absent from duty or from the State.

Commission members should expect to be called on to act as spokespeople in relation to voluntary assisted dying from time to time.

Expressions of interest for Commission membership were sought in November-December 2021 and the members will be appointed and announced in 2022.

Commission members must be:

  • qualified and/or experienced with a high record of professional achievement in one of the following fields: the medical profession; the law; representation of health consumers; the broader health profession; research and epidemiology; ethics and/or human rights; and/or public administration
  • committed to the implementation of voluntary assisted dying in Tasmania in accordance with the End-of-Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Act 2021
  • an effective oral and verbal communicator, able to explain technical issues to non-specialists
  • highly organised, with experience overseeing the successful delivery of operational outcomes and ability to work well under pressure
  • capable of making fair, balanced and consistent decisions in a complex medico-legal environment without undue delay
  • a person of compassion, maturity, discretion, patience and integrity who inspires respect and confidence.

Key dates

ActionDate
Expressions of Interest closed3 December 2021
Assessment and development of recommendationsDecember 2021
Government approvals and offersJanuary-February 2022
Announcement of Commission membersFebruary-March 2022
Commission commences operationApril-May 2022
Voluntary assisted dying commences legal operationBy 23 October 2022

Further information

Email vad@health.tas.gov.au