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Figures released by the South Australian Government yesterday revealed 110 terminally ill patients accessed voluntary euthanasia in the scheme’s first 12 months. Source: InDaily.

The voluntary assisted dying (VAD) legislation came into effect on January 31, 2023. In the year since, 195 terminally ill people have been issued with a VAD permit, and 110 have died after administration of a VAD substance. A further 30 people died without taking up the option.

According to government statistics released yesterday, 75 per cent of those who applied for VAD in South Australia were aged 65 years and over, and 77 per cent were receiving palliative care.

Sixty-eight per cent were from metropolitan Adelaide and 32 per cent from regional SA.

South Australian Health Minister Chris Picton said the Malinauskas Government has no plans to expand the eligibility criteria for euthanasia services.

Currently, VAD can only be accessed by patients with an incurable, advanced and progressive disease expected to cause death within six months, or 12 months for a neurodegenerative condition.

Mr Picton said the state government is also pushing the Albanese Government to address a Federal Court ruling that effectively criminalises doctors for doing telehealth consultations about VAD.

The November 2023 ruling found that the definition of VAD is the same as suicide under the Commonwealth’s criminal code – meaning doctors who consult about VAD over the phone or email risk criminal prosecution.


‘We’re really grateful’: Family’s thanks for South Australia’s VAD laws (By Thomas Kelsall, InDaily)