Voluntary Assisted Dying

“. . . Assisted dying legislation takes one kind of death and aims to make it easier. It’s a deeply sympathetic goal. It also opens the door to new kinds of suffering and abuse, unintended but not unforeseeable.

So, the question cannot be: how do we eliminate suffering? The law can’t do that. The question must be: what kind of society are we? What are our bedrock values? And who do they advantage – or disadvantage – the most?”
Dr Natasha Moore

Position Statement on Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Assisted Dying.

Calvary Health Care does not offer nor provide Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) services, euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. VAD is not part of our practice and is not something Calvary can assist any person with in their home or in any Calvary services.

Calvary is committed to responding openly, respectfully, sensitively and without discrimination to anyone in our care who expresses a wish to explore or consider VAD.

Our mission is focused on healing and accompanying the dying.

We seek to relieve people’s suffering – whether this suffering is physical, emotional, psychological and/or spiritual. We do this by alleviating the causes of the suffering.

Palliative care is essential to Calvary’s mission. Our models of care seek to make people feel welcome, heard and cared for whatever their experience and situation.

There is a risk that a VAD culture may undermine such a message by making the value of the lives of people living with a terminal illness conditional on their own appraisal. Doubt and/or existential suffering is often part of the journey. The fact that a person is experiencing this kind of suffering does not take away from the value of their lives.

One of the myths about palliative care is that it is powerless to assist patients who are intractably burdened by symptoms or anguish.

At precisely the moment medicine may say ‘I’m sorry there is nothing more I can do’ palliative care engages intensely with the person who is suffering and aims to support them throughout their illness until their death.

The profound and complex communication skills of a clinician in the face of this suffering broaden medicine from the purely technical to the deeply personal. This is a critical dimension of Calvary’s care.

For more information about Calvary’s position and our approach to end of life care, please click on an option below.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Answers

Position Statement on Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Assisted Dying

Palliative and End of Life Care Research Institute

 

There are legitimate concerns over Voluntary Assisted Dying proposals before our parliaments.

Just over 150,000 Australians will die this year, about half in hospital. It’s a reality that hums in the background of our everyday lives, which is where most of us are happy to leave it. The Bills debated in various states and territories across Australia have forced us to face something most of us have been happy to avoid or leave to others.

Calvary respects the experiences of those advocating for Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD). At the same time, we invite you to explore the resources below that raise important issues when considering VAD.

 

Opinion Editorial ‘Choice must be honoured if assisted dying to be voluntary’

Opinion Editorial ‘So Much To Lose’

Opinion Editorial ‘We need to consider what assisted dying legislation promised’

Opinion Editorial ‘The gift of accompaniment’

 

 

Calvary parliamentary submissions and position statements