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Palliative care and voluntary assisted dying

Palliative care aims to improve quality of life for people with a life-limiting illness and their families and carers. It supports the person’s physical, emotional, psychological, social, spiritual, and cultural wellbeing to prevent and relieve suffering.

Some people will find effective palliative care may not relieve all suffering. Voluntary assisted dying provides an additional end-of-life choice to eligible people. People can choose to receive palliative care while considering or accessing voluntary assisted dying. A person does not need to stop palliative care if they choose to access voluntary assisted dying: they do not have to choose one or the other.

All healthcare workers should continue providing palliative and end-of-life care to people who are considering or accessing voluntary assisted dying, irrespective of their views and beliefs.

Further information on palliative care:

Last updated: 9 December 2022