Supporting ineligible people
Discussing voluntary assisted dying with an ineligible person
There may be circumstances where a person who requests information about, or seeks to access to, voluntary assisted dying is unlikely to meet all the eligibility criteria.
For example, they do not have a life-limiting disease, illness or medical condition, or they are under 18 years of age.
Managing expectations during voluntary assisted dying conversations is central to appropriately supporting a person. An informal enquiry should be explored with respect and consideration and is an opportunity for meaningful discussion about the person’s care needs, symptom management and other end-of-life treatment options.
It is important to consider the impact these discussions may have on the person.
The QVAD Handbook outlines strategies that may assist when supporting an ineligible person.
Managing a first request from an ineligible person
Even if a person is unlikely to meet all eligibility criteria for accessing voluntary assisted dying, they have the right to make a first request.
If a medical practitioner receives a first request for voluntary assisted dying from a person they consider to be clearly ineligible, they must still take all the steps mandated by the Act when someone makes a first request in order to comply with their obligations under the Act. It is an offence under the Act to dishonestly or by coercion, induce another person to make, or revoke, a request for access to voluntary assisted dying. Learn more about responding to a first request.
When a person makes a first request for voluntary assisted dying, the medical practitioner who accepts the first request becomes the coordinating practitioner. It is the coordinating practitioner’s responsibility to undertake the first assessment and determine whether the person satisfies the eligibility requirements for voluntary assisted dying.
Learn more about the first assessment process.