Voluntary Assisted Dying

7 May 2021

TLC Aged Care’s response to the ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying Act’

The ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (‘VAD’) applies throughout Victoria. TLC has been working to ensure that we have a clear and consistent response to the Act.

Our services are committed to excellent end of life care. When our residents are approaching end of life, we assist them to pass away in comfort and with dignity. We do this through the provision of excellent palliative care planning and delivery to residents. A palliative approach aims to improve the quality-of-life for individuals with a life-limiting illness, and their families, by reducing their suffering through early identification, assessment and treatment of pain, physical, cultural, psychological, social and spiritual needs.

We do not consider that the prescription of a lethal substance to a person to help them end their own life, nor the administration of a lethal substance to a person by a health practitioner to end their life, are part of end of life care. Our position is consistent with the Australian Medical Association position statement.  

TLC homes will neither provide nor facilitate Voluntary Assisted Dying

TLC has committed to “Pathway C: Information and Support Service” which is an approved pathway for aged care service providers. Our policy is to only provide information and/or referrals for people who request Voluntary Assisted Dying. We believe in open discussions with patients, residents and families about their preferences and wishes around care at the end of life. Our facilities have systems in place that will respond respectfully and compassionately to any questions about Voluntary Assisted Dying. This includes coordinating transfer of care to other providers if a patient/resident wishes to seek Voluntary Assisted Dying.  We will not impede access to the provision of Voluntary Assisted Dying elsewhere, however we will not provide Voluntary Assisted Dying on any TLC premises.

In line with the Department of Health website and advice on Voluntary Assisted Dying, aged care facilities have no obligation to facilitate nor provide Voluntary Assisted Dying. Our response aligns with relevant guidelines for non-participating services.

TLC reserves its rights to take all available legal recourse against any person found to breach TLC’s pathway C policy, or promote or encourage anyone to act outside the said policy on any TLC site.