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St Vincent’s Care & ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’

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‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’ (‘VAD’) Legislation will come into effect in Victoria, Queensland & New South Wales as of the:  

  • 19 June 2019: ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’ Act 2017 (VIC) 
  • 1st January 2023: ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’ Act 2021 (QLD) 
  • 28th November 2023: ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’ Act 2022 (NSW) 

St Vincent’s Care is committed to excellent end-of-life care and is part of a Catholic health and aged care community that has been serving the Australian community for over 183 years. 

When our residents are experiencing a life-limiting illness, we provide care and support to enable them to die in comfort and with dignity. We do this through commitments to:

  • never harm; 
  • relieve pain and other physical symptoms of illness and frailty; 
  • address psychological distress; 
  • providing pastoral and/or spiritual care and support that accompanies them in their palliative journey;
  • withdraw life-prolonging treatments when they are medically futile or overly burdensome, or when a person wants them withdrawn; and
  • never abandon residents.

We do not consider that the prescription of a lethal substance to a person to help them end their own life, nor the administration of a lethal substance to a person by a health practitioner to end their life, are part of end-of-life care. Our position is consistent with the Australian Medical Association and the World Medical Association. It is these acts which became legal under Queensland’s and Victorian and New South Wales ‘VAD’ law. 

The law allows aged care providers in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales to choose whether or not to participate in the state’s ‘VAD’ system. As a result, St Vincent’s Care does not provide ‘VAD’ services at any of our facilities.

We recognise that some residents may wish to explore the option of ‘VAD’ while under our care. We are committed to receiving any enquiries about ‘VAD’ in a compassionate and respectful manner.

If a resident wishes to access ‘VAD’ from an external provider, we will not impede them. We will also continue to respect the privacy of each resident’s own home within our facility, which includes honouring the privacy of consultations with any external health care practitioners. 

We will always maintain our commitment to care for residents who are considering or pursuing ‘VAD’. We will abide by all relevant Queensland, Victorian and New South Wales legislation.

Information about each State’s ‘VAD’ laws are available at: 


If you have any questions about St Vincent’s Care’s ‘VAD’ response, please contact: 


Troy Tornabene                                            
 
Mission Leader
troy.tornabene@svha.org.au               

 

Julie Dymock

Head of Clinical Governance

julie.dymock@shva.org.au