Voluntary Assisted Dying in Tasmania

Fact Sheet

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This fact sheet provides a summary of how voluntary assisted dying can be accessed when it is allowed in Tasmania from 23 October 2022.

When it becomes available, there will be services and health practitioners available to assist people to navigate the process.

What is voluntary assisted dying and when will it be available?

Voluntary assisted dying refers to a situation where a person who is dying chooses to access prescribed medication to end their life. Voluntary assisted dying is not yet allowed in Tasmania. It will be allowed from 23 October 2022. Only people who meet all the requirements and follow the process set out in the law will be able to access voluntary assisted dying.

Who will be able to access voluntary assisted dying?

To access voluntary assisted dying, a person will have to meet the following requirements:

Medical condition – a person must be suffering intolerably due to an advanced, incurable and irreversible disease, illness, injury or medical condition for which there is no reasonably available treatment that the person finds acceptable. The medical condition must be expected to cause their death within six months (or 12 months for neurodegenerative disease) although it will be possible to apply for an exemption to these timeframes.

Decision-making capacity – a person must be able to:

  • understand, remember and use or evaluate information and advice regarding access to voluntary assisted dying, and
  • communicate their decision and opinions. This includes communicating verbally, in writing, or by gesture.

Acting voluntarily – the decision to access voluntary assisted dying must be a person’s own decision. There must not be duress, coercion, threats or rewards associated with their decision.

Age – a person must be 18 years or older to access voluntary assisted dying in Tasmania.

Residency – a person must have been living in Tasmania for the 12 months prior to requesting access to voluntary assisted dying. They must also be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or have been living in Australia for at least three years prior to making the request.

What will be the process for voluntary assisted dying?

Access to voluntary assisted dying requires multiple requests and multiple assessments of eligibility. A web accessible summary of this process is provided on our Frequently Asked Questions webpage and a flowchart of the process is provided within the PDF version of this fact sheet.

How do I access more information as it is developed?

A dedicated team has been set up within the Department of Health to administer the effective introduction of voluntary assisted dying for Tasmanians.

You can subscribe to email updates by sending an email to vad@health.tas.gov.au with “subscribe” as the subject. You can also email vad@health.tas.gov.au with any specific queries. The End-of-Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Act 2021 is also available online.