Voluntary Assisted Dying – Explained



This month Queensland quietly ushered in a new era allowing people to obtain assistance if they voluntarily wish to end their lives. This act became eligible to Queenslanders from 1 January 2023.

Voluntary assisted dying (VAD) is currently operating in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. South Australia will commence on 31 January 2023, New South Wales on 28 November 2023.

While this may be seen as an extraordinary step forward in the recognition of personal choice, it is only lawful in very specific and limited circumstances. 

The person wish to end their life must:

  • Be over 18
  • Make their decision voluntarily
  • Have legal capacity to make a decision
  • Have a condition which is expected to cause death within 12 months and cause intolerable suffering (which is measured subjectively)
  • Be an Australian Citizen and a resident of Queensland for at least 3 years.

There are exceptions to certain aspects of these criteria.  For example, a person who lives outside of Queensland can apply for an exemption. 

If you would like more information about the rules or the exceptions, please contact our team.

1300 DSL LAW (1300 375 529)