Asking for information on voluntary assisted dying

If you are thinking about asking for voluntary assisted dying, you should discuss it with your doctor or healthcare team. This could include nurses, social workers, psychologists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners.

Any willing doctor or healthcare worker can support you while you are thinking about and asking for voluntary assisted dying.

Your doctor or healthcare workers can give you information about voluntary assisted dying and help you think through your options.

Starting a conversation

Only a doctor or nurse practitioner can start a conversation about voluntary assisted dying with you. If they start a conversation, they must also discuss your treatment options with you, including palliative care treatment and support options, and the likely outcomes of your options.

If you want to talk to another type of healthcare worker about voluntary assisted dying, you will have to start the conversation.

At your request, any healthcare worker can provide information about voluntary assisted dying. Healthcare workers, who are not doctors or nurse practitioners, cannot start a conversation about voluntary assisted dying with you.

Asking for information doesn’t mean you have started the voluntary assisted dying process. You can have as many conversations as you need with your healthcare team about voluntary assisted dying—it’s important you have the information you need to make an informed decision.

If you’re thinking about voluntary assisted dying, your healthcare team can help you by:

  • exploring why you are thinking about voluntary assisted dying
  • giving you more information about your disease, treatment and end-of-life options
  • suggesting other supports to help you manage your wellbeing, such as home help, equipment and aids, emotional and financial support
  • answering your questions about voluntary assisted dying and care at the end of life
  • explaining what you need to do if you decide to make a first request for voluntary assisted dying.

The process only starts when you have made your decision and make a first request. Asking for information is a way to help you get the facts you need to make a decision about voluntary assisted dying, if and when you are ready.

Respect your healthcare team’s beliefs

Voluntary assisted dying is complex. Different people may have different views about voluntary assisted dying. It is important to respect all views—respecting different views is central to voluntary assisted dying in Queensland.

All doctors and healthcare workers can choose not to be involved in any stage of the voluntary assisted dying process.

All healthcare workers can choose to conscientiously object to participating in any stage of the voluntary assisted dying process. This is the right to refuse to talk about or provide voluntary assisted dying services due to personal reasons or beliefs.

If your healthcare team cannot respond to your questions about voluntary assisted dying, they may give you the details of someone who can, or you can contact the Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Support Service (QVAD-Support). QVAD-Support will be able to answer some of your questions and connect you to a doctor who will be able to help you access voluntary assisted dying.