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Information for GPs

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. It’s important that GPs understand their roles, responsibilities, and legal obligations with respect to voluntary assisted dying.

General practitioners may participate in voluntary assisted dying by:

  • acting as the coordinating practitioner, consulting practitioner or administering practitioner (if eligible, trained and authorised)
  • initiating a conversation about voluntary assisted dying in the course of informing about all treatment and end-of-life options (including palliative care options)
  • providing information about voluntary assisted dying to a person who has requested it
  • accepting a referral to determine whether the person has an eligible diagnosis, prognosis, has decision-making capacity in relation to voluntary assisted dying, or is acting voluntarily and without coercion
  • continuing to provide care to a person and their family, knowing they are accessing voluntary assisted dying.

General practitioners can decide not to participate in voluntary assisted dying or to only participate in some circumstances. For example, an eligible general practitioner:

  • may be comfortable providing a person with general information but can choose to take no further part
  • can choose to be the coordinating practitioner, but not the administering practitioner
  • can choose to be the coordinating practitioner for a person with whom they’ve had a longstanding doctor-patient relationship, but not for another
  • can choose to be the consulting practitioner.

Charging for voluntary assisted dying services

There are no costs to the person or a practitioner for the voluntary assisted dying substance, its supply, or for accessing QVAD-Support.

Costs and fees associated with consultations, support and provision of other voluntary assisted dying services provided by a general practitioner are a matter for the practitioner and the person.

Note as per the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care:

euthanasia and any service directly related to the procedure do not attract Medicare benefits. However, services rendered for counselling/assessment about euthanasia will attract benefits’.

For more information, refer to the Medicare Benefits Schedule Note GN.13.33.

Statewide HealthPathway

A statewide voluntary assisted dying health pathway has been created. This is based on the Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Handbook (QVAD Handbook). It provides general information on voluntary assisted dying; it doesn’t restate the requirements of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021 (the Act). It’s not intended to replace clinical judgement, act as legal advice or replace mandatory training requirements.

VAD consumer information factsheet

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.

Conversation guide

The conversation guide (PDF 2076 kB) includes information for GPs 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

A factsheet of frequently asked questions (PDF 844 kB) has been prepared for GPs covering essential information about voluntary assisted dying.

Last updated: 15 December 2022