Topical Talk – Online Zoom event on Voluntary Assisted Dying

Voluntary Assisted Dying – who has access?

Victorias voluntary assisted dying (VAD) scheme has been operating successfully for over 12 months and WAs law comes into effect in mid 2021. The Tasmanian VAD Bill is progressing through Parliament right now and could become law before Christmas. In Queensland the reelected Labor government will be introducing a VAD bill in February and in New Zealand a majority of Kiwis have voted YES to their End of Life Choices Act. But what is happening in NSW?

Join Shayne Higson, Dr Cam McLaren, and Janet Cohen for this topical discussion.

Wednesday 2nd Dec


Live online via zoom

Bookings via this link or 65818755

Shayne Higson

Shayne Higson is Vice President of Dying With Dignity NSW, an advocacy organisation that has campaigned for voluntary assisted dying laws since 1983. After witnessing the traumatic death of her mother from brain cancer in 2012, Shayne has devoted her life to this campaign in various roles. She has had a long association with
the Voluntary Euthanasia Party (VEP) having run as their lead candidate in five elections, at state and federal levels. She has worked with Go Gentle Australia, the not
forprofit organisation founded by Andrew Denton, and most recently she worked on the WA campaign, the latest state to pass an assisted dying law.

Listen to Shayne Higson being interviewed by Cameron Marshall on ABC Radio Mid North Coast

Dr Cam McLaren

Dr Cam McLaren is a medical oncologist who has played a leading role in Victorias voluntary assisted dying scheme. He is one of the few specialist practitioners taking part in the scheme and has assisted over 100 patients access assisted dying, administering a lethal injection in nine of those cases. Dr McLaren undertook the training to become a coordinating medical practitioner under the VAD scheme, which he said was a logical progression from his oncology practice. I didnt want a patient to come to me for a cancer journey but then at the end I wasnt prepared to, or able to, take them all the way to the finish line.

Janet Cohen

Camden Haven resident and former manager of Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, Janet Cohen was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 just before her 60th birthday and since 2015 has lived with a terminal lung cancer diagnosis. Fortunate to have had access to new life extending treatments, Janet is currently well. Janet has also preregistered with Life Circle in Switzerland for a voluntary assisted death, when her pain and suffering unacceptably damage her quality of life. Janet has campaigned for the introduction of VAD into NSW since 2016 and is a passionate advocate for choice and dignity at the end of ones life.

Listen to Janet Cohen being interviewed by Cameron Marshall on ABC Radio Mid North Coast

Please note: Topical Talks is a public forum. Views expressed may not be representative of PMH Library or Council.