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Voluntary assisted dying in NSW

What is it?

Voluntary assisted dying (VAD) means a person can ask for medical help to end their life.

The law in New South Wales says for a person to access VAD, they must:

  • Be an adult (18 years or older)
  • Be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or have been living in Australia for at least three years
  • Have been living in NSW for at least 12 months
  • Have at least one disease, illness or condition which:
    • Is advanced and is getting worse
    • Is likely to cause death within six to 12 months
    • Is causing you to suffer in a way which cannot be relieved
  • Be able to decide for yourself
  • Not have someone telling you what to do
  • Have gotten approval from two doctors


What will my GP do?

You can talk to your GP about VAD. Your GP can mention it if you are talking about other end of life care options. Your GP will let you know if they can help you with VAD. If they can’t, they will refer you to a GP who can help. Your GP will talk to you about your treatment and support options. They may also refer you to the Care Navigator Service.

What questions could I ask my doctor?

  • Is it right for me?
  • How long will this process take?
  • What happens if I change my mind?

What can I do?

Make your end of life wishes known to people around you. Your palliative care team or GP can help with this. You can stop your request for VAD at any point. If you are taking the medicine in your home, you should think about where you want to be and who you want with you when you have the medicine. A health professional will need to be there if they are giving you the medicine.


What supports are available?

  • NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Care Navigator Service

    The Care Navigator Service provides information and support to patients, families and carers with questions about VAD. It is available Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.


  • Palliative Care Australia
  • Cancer Council
  • Lifeline

    24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services

    Go to website
  • NSW Mental Health Line

Where can I learn more?

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