This is the third report from the independent Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board.
It details activity under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 from 1 January to 30 June 2020.
The report shows that since June 2019 (when the Act commenced):
- 348 people were assessed for eligibility to access voluntary assisted dying
- 272 eligible applicants applied for a permit
- 231 permits were issued
- 124 people died from taking the prescribed medications.
The report includes details about who is accessing voluntary assisted dying – such as age, location and illness – which has previously not been reported due to privacy and lower numbers.
- Almost four out of five of those who died from taking the prescribed medication had terminal cancer. Others had a neurodegenerative disease, or other diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, cardiomyopathy or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Applicants for voluntary assisted dying were aged between 32 and 100 years, with an average age of 71 years.
- 44 per cent of applicants were female, 55 per cent were male and one per cent selected ‘self-described’ as their sex.
- 62 per cent of applicants resided in a metropolitan area and 38 per cent in a regional or rural area.
The independent Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board plays an important role in assuring the community and health practitioners that voluntary assisted dying is closely and independently monitored and reviewed.