PDF 119 KB
Assessing decision making capacity in relation to voluntary assisted dying practice tool to support medical practitioners.
Deciding to participate in voluntary assisted dying as a medical practitioner is a personal and professional decision that should be made carefully.
When choosing the extent and level of involvement in discussions about voluntary assisted dying, registered medical practitioners should take into consideration:
Medical practitioners who meet the requirements defined in the Act may participate as the Coordinating Medical Practitioner, Consulting Medical Practitioner, or Specialist Opinion Provider.
Medical practitioners who do not meet the requirements defined in the Act may participate in voluntary assisted dying in other ways, such as providing treatment and care to reduce suffering.
The Coordinating Medical Practitioner is responsible for supporting the patient, and their family, friends and carers throughout the Voluntary Assisted Dying Pathway.
In most cases, an eligible medical practitioner becomes the patient’s Coordinating Medical Practitioner when they accept the patient’s first request.
A patient must have a dedicated Coordinating Medical Practitioner throughout all stages of the pathway. This role may be transferred to the Consulting Medical Practitioner if required.
The Consulting Medical Practitioner is responsible for undertaking an assessment of the patient to independently determine their eligibility to access voluntary assisted dying.
An eligible medical practitioner becomes the patient’s Consulting Medical Practitioner when they accept the Coordinating Medical Practitioner’s referral to conduct the consulting assessment.
A Consulting Medical Practitioner who assesses a patient as eligible may be asked to become the Coordinating Medical Practitioner if a need to transfer the role of Coordinating Medical Practitioner arises.
Registered medical practitioners who wish to act as the Coordinating or Consulting Medical Practitioner must either:
Either the Coordinating Medical Practitioner or each Consulting Medical Practitioner must:
Medical practitioners are not eligible to act as the Coordinating Medical Practitioner or Consulting Medical Practitioner for a patient if they meet any of the below criteria:
Before being considered eligible to participate in voluntary assisted dying a registered medical practitioner must complete the Practitioner Registration Form on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Clinical Portal. The Voluntary Assisted Dying Operations Team reviews all registrations and confirms practitioners are eligible to participate.
Before assessing a patient’s eligibility to access voluntary assisted dying a medical practitioner must complete the mandatory training.
Medical practitioners can choose to complete the mandatory training:
The training is completed online and is valid for five years.
To access the Voluntary Assisted Dying Mandatory Medical Practitioner Training, you first need to register as a practitioner on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Clinical Portal.
A medical practitioner with appropriate skills and training may provide a specialist opinion on any or all of the following:
A registered health practitioner with appropriate skills and training may provide a specialist opinion on either of the following:
Medical and health practitioners can provide a specialist opinion on matters that fit within their usual scope of practice.
This specialist referral is made in addition to the referral for a consulting assessment.
The specialist practitioner should be asked to provide an opinion on whether the patient meets a specific eligibility criterion of concern. They are asked to undertake an independent determination and provide a clinical report to the referring Coordinating or Consulting Medical Practitioner.
The Coordinating or Consulting Medical Practitioner may either accept the specialist opinion or rely on their own determination (except if the patient has a neurodegenerative disease in which case, the specialist opinion must be adopted).
Medical practitioners and registered health practitioners are not required to complete the Voluntary Assisted Dying Mandatory Medical Practitioner Training in order to provide a specialist opinion.
The medical practitioner or registered health practitioner must have appropriate skills and training relevant to the referral criteria for which the patient is being referred.
Medical practitioners and registered health practitioners are not eligible to provide a specialist opinion if they meet any of the below criteria: