Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) – information for GPs2023-05-12T10:23:25+10:00

Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) – information for GPs

If you are a patient or the public, please go to Queensland Health Voluntary Assisted Dying information webpage

Voluntary Assisted Dying will be available to eligible Queenslanders from 1 January 2023.

Voluntary assisted dying is an additional end-of-life choice that gives eligible people who are suffering and dying the option of asking for medical assistance to end their lives.

For many people with questions about voluntary assisted dying and may be considering it as an end-of-life option, their GP will be their first contact.

Medical practitioners can choose not to participate in the voluntary assisted dying process, but all medical practitioners have legal obligations under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021 (the Act).

These are:

  1. Initiating a discussion—providing specific information if the medical practitioner initiates a conversation about voluntary assisted dying with a person.
  2. Responding to a first request—following a set process when receiving a first request for access to voluntary assisted dying.
  3. Completing a cause of death certificate—following mandatory steps when completing a Cause of Death Medical Certificate (death certificate) for a person who died by accessing voluntary assisted dying.

NOTE: Only medical practitioners or nurse practitioners (not registered nurses) can initiate a conversation about VAD in the course of informing about all end of life as detailed in healthcare workers scope of practice.

Queensland Health has produced a Voluntary Assisted page with more information for GPs

Brisbane North Voluntary Assisted Dying Health Pathways and How to Refer

GPs should review the Brisbane North Voluntary Assisted Dying Health Pathway which provides information on Voluntary Assisted Dying and the referral process.

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Request Page shows specifically how to refer.

If the medical practitioner is unable to assist the patient with their request for Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD), they must refer the patient to one of the following:

  • Queensland VAD Support
    Phone: 1800 431 371
    Opening hours: 8:30am-4pm, Monday to Friday
  • Metro North Health Voluntary Assisted Dying Support Unit
    Submit your referral by completing the appropriate referral form below or on your practice’s letter head or referral template to Metro North Health Central Patient Intake Unit via secure messaging.

  • Another medical practitioner who may be able to assist

How should I respond if I am asked about Voluntary Assisted Dying – Conversation Guide for GPs

The Conversation guide for GPs includes information for GPs (whether you choose to participate or not) on how to respond to queries from patients, their families, carers, friends and colleagues, and where to go for information and support.

Frequently asked questions Factsheet for GPs

A factsheet of frequently asked questions has been prepared for GPs covering essential information about voluntary assisted dying.

Interested in becoming an Authorised Voluntary Assisted Dying Practitioner?

If you are interested in becoming an authorised voluntary assisted dying practitioner, see Becoming an authorised voluntary assisted dying practitioner for more information.

Training involves approximately 6 hours of mandatory training to support the practitioner and a community of practice is being established to support practitioners.

Patient information

The Queensland Health Voluntary Assisted Dying information for consumers website provides a range of information to help support the public.

Patients can contact QVAD Support Service for more information.

Opening hours: 8:30am-4pm, Monday to Friday
Phone: 1800 431 371 (available from 1 January 2023)
Email: qvadsupport@health.qld.gov.au (available now)

The VAD consumer information factsheet (PDF 302 kB) is a printable high level overview resource that GPs can give to their patients about voluntary assisted dying.

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