This is the fifth report from the independent Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board.
It details activity under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 and is the last of the Board’s six-monthly reports as the legislation now enters its third year. Moving forward, the Board will report annually.
The report shows that since June 2019 (when the Act commenced) until 30 June 2021:
- 836 people have been assessed for eligibility to access voluntary assisted dying
- 674 permit applications have been made
- 597 permits have been issued
- 331 people have died from taking the prescribed medications.
The report provides details about who is accessing voluntary assisted dying:
- applicants were aged between 18 and 101 years and the average age was 72
- around 46 per cent of applicants were female and 54 per cent male
- 36 per cent of applicants were from regional Victoria
- 86 per cent were living in a private household at the time of the application
- 83 per cent had a malignancy diagnosis, such as lung, breast or gastrointestinal cancer
- 17 per cent had a non-malignant diagnosis, most commonly a neurodegenerative disease.
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.