Researchers from a number of universities, led by Monash University, are currently embarking on a four year NHMRC funded project to evaluate the impact and consequences of the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Act. The implementation of the VAD Act potentially has far-reaching implications for health policy, legislation, medicine and society. To assess its wider societal impact we are talking with people from different backgrounds and viewpoints, including Researchers from a number of universities, led by Monash University, are currently embarking on a four year NHMRC funded project to evaluate the impact and consequences of the VAD Act. In 2017 the Victorian Parliament passed the VAD Act whereby individuals with terminal illnesses causing intolerable suffering can lawfully obtain a medicine that enables them to take their own lives. This new health policy direction follows prolonged public and professional debate, and its implementation in 2019 presents an imperative to evaluate the implications for medicine and society. This project will assess the impact of the Act in Victoria and develop recommendations for legislative and policy reform. It will achieve this by assessing the experiences of patients who seek access to VAD, of their families, and of health professionals. In the process, an evidence-based framework and accompanying strategies will be developed to enable sustainable, ongoing evaluation of VAD in Victoria and other jurisdictions. The research will be conducted over four years and will employ a mixed method longitudinal design involving qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It will be a world first in several respects. It will be the first comprehensive, prospective study of the implementation of VAD legislation. It will be the first study to describe not just the metrics of usage but also the longitudinal experiences of patients and the impact on families and the health care system. It will be the first to design and validate a framework to allow ongoing review of this and similar legislation. And it will be the first to link formal qualitative and quantitative data collection with a sustainable process for generating end of life health and legal policy advice. It will also help ensure that VAD legislation provides adequate protections for those who are most vulnerable. This project will thereby contribute significantly to end of life care of people who seek assistance in dying and those who do not, both in Victoria and around the world.
Voluntary Assisted Dying, End of Life Care, Exploring Decision-making and experiences with serious illnesses, Qualitative research
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Masters by research
Masters by coursework
Joint PhD/Exchange Program
Top-up scholarship funding available
553 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne (adjacent to The Alfred)