NSW VAD Board - Interim Report 2024

Voluntary assisted dying in NSW - the story so far

A week ago the NSW VAD Board published its Interim Report for the first three months of operation of the NSW VAD Laws which commenced on 28 November 2023.

While the report only covers a short period, the results are consistent with our expectations and the experience of the other Australian states which have VAD laws in place. 

Key messages from the interim report

A very high number of first requests were made (517) confirming our predictions of strong demand for VAD in NSW.

Although many applicants will still be going through the process, we can see that

  • 418 people undertook their first assessment
  • 321 of those completed a consulting assessment
  • a VAD substance authorisation was granted to 246 people
  • 131 people died after administration of the substance.

Of those who had a first assessment

  • 57% were male
  • 43% were female
  • the largest number of people were aged 70-79 followed by age groups 80-89 and 60-69
  • as expected the overwhelming majority of people had a cancer diagnosis (71%), followed by neurodegenerative disease (17%).

In terms of location

  • 65% lived in regional NSW
  • 35% in Greater Sydney.

As at 29 February, there were 250 authorised VAD doctors, with 55% of these practicing in regional NSW.

Still early days but “so far, so good”

It is still early days but it appears that the system is working well. We are particularly pleased to see the high proportion of applications from regional NSW.

As you will be aware, we have consistently stressed the importance of ensuring that VAD is accessible to those in regional and remote areas. This has proven to be a problem in other states and we are very grateful to the NSW Health VAD Implementation Team for delivering on their commitment to supporting equitable access to VAD across the state.

We will be very keen to see the first Annual Report from the NSW VAD Board covering the period from commencement to 30 June 2024.


Read the full Interim Report - here