Voluntary Assisted Dying Panel formed

4 Sep 2023

The Territory Labor Government is ensuring all Territorians deserve the right to make decisions about their end-of-life care, similar to other Australians. To support this, a community consultation process for the development of a framework for Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) will begin. It will ensure the needs of our community members are met, and that care is accessible and appropriate.

Community consultations will be led by co-chairs, the Hon Vicki O’Halloran AO CVO and Duncan McConnel SC.

They will be supported by an advisory panel, with its members announced today:

Panel members

  • Dr Christine Sanderson
  • Dr Devaki Monani
  • Dr Geetanjali Lamba
  • Dr Kane Vellar
  • Mrs Susan Shearer
  • Mrs Ursula Raymond
  • Mrs Wendy Morton

As part of consultation, the co-chairs and advisory panel will carry out town hall meetings in Darwin, Palmerston, Katherine, Jabiru, Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and regions. Public meeting engagements will commence from October 2023.

The independent panel will report to the Chief Minister and be guided by terms of reference requiring the panel to listen to the views of our community. Broad public consultation will be undertaken, with multiple avenues for people to put forward their views, including an online survey, written submissions and meetings with community groups and stakeholders.

The panel will consider submissions when making recommendations to government, in order to inform a VAD framework that will incorporate the necessary safeguards all Territorians expect.

A report will behanded to the Chief Minister by July 2024.

Members of the community can also email or visit Project Management Office | Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet for more information.

Quotes attributed to Chief Minister Natasha Fyles:

“Territorians deserve to have a say on whether or not they want these laws in the Territory, and if so, how they want it to work. The expert panel will ensure all voices are heard from all regions of the Territory, as well as consider what the Northern Territory can learn from other jurisdictions, including overseas. The VAD framework will make safety, ethics, and appropriate safeguards to protect individuals and practitioners a priority.”

Source: Northern Territory Newsroom

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