Your Rights

After nearly 50 years of lobbying by Dying with Dignity organisations around Australia all Australian states have passed and implemented laws to legalise voluntary assisted dying (VAD). 

The NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2022) came into effect on 28 November 2023.

In June 2024, the ACT parliament passed a VAD law which takes effect in November 2025 after an 18 month implementation period.

We are hopeful that the Northern Territory will soon join the rest of the country in allowing its citzens access to this compassionate end-of-life choice.

Other laws related to alternative end-of-life choices are complex. For example, although suicide or attempted suicide is legal in Australia, it is a crime to aid or abet another person to commit or attempt to commit suicide. In addition, a competent adult has the legal right to refuse all treatment including food and water in order to hasten their death. There are also laws related to Advance Care Directives that allow someone who loses decision-making capacity to exercise certain end-of-life care choices.

Dying with Dignity NSW recommends that you know your medical rights, especially in relation to end-of-life care and you can find more detailed information below.