This guidance has been developed for executives, managers and senior staff who are responsible for the systems and processes that govern person-centred care for voluntary assisted dying in health services.
Health services and health practitioners are responsible for ensuring the provision of end-of-life care is consistent with the guiding principles outlined in Victoria’s end of life and palliative care framework.1 The framework has a strong focus on patient-centred care, valuing and respecting people’s preferences and values for end-of-life care.
When a person requests information about voluntary assisted dying, it is critical that health practitioners are aware of the level of involvement their health service has in providing voluntary assisted dying and other end of life support services, including:
- support services available to assist with end-of-life care
- other services provided as part of a health service partnership.
These may include, but are not limited to:
- psychological support, social work and spiritual care
- specialist palliative care
- advance care planning
- organ, tissue and body donation for transplant, research or teaching
- care of the deceased
- bereavement services
Existing policies, procedures and guidelines should be updated to ensure patients requesting voluntary assisted dying have access to these services as part of high-quality end-of-life care. This should also include updating policies, procedures and guidelines to include clinical handover, deactivation of implantable cardioverter defibrillators and mortality review for voluntary assisted dying.