Terminally ill Victorians wanting to access voluntary euthanasia will have to get the lethal drugs from Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.
The hospital’s pharmacy service will be the only point of access for dispensing the medications, acting Health Minister Martin Foley announced on Saturday.
Victoria passed historic assisted dying legislation in November 2017, the only state in the country to do so, and the scheme will be up and running by June 19.
“The Alfred is one of Victoria’s leading hospitals. Having a single point of access for voluntary assisted dying is just one of the ways we’re making sure the model is the safest and most conservative in the world,” Mr Foley said in a statement.
“We’ve made voluntary assisted dying legal because a person’s quality of death is part of their quality of life – and everyone deserves a dignified choice at the end of their lives.”
Only adults with decision-making capacity, who are suffering an incurable, advanced condition which is likely to cause death within six months, or 12 months for people with neurodegenerative conditions, can access the scheme.
People must make three clear requests and have two independent medical assessments to determine they are eligible and the request must always be initiated by the person themselves to their regular health practitioners.
Mr Foley said a single point of access would ensure medicines are kept and dispensed securely.
Patients will be provided clear information on administering the drugs and unused medications will have to be returned and destroyed.
For people too sick to travel, the pharmacy service will deliver them their medication.
The pharmacy will regularly report to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board, which is led by former Supreme Court judge Betty King.
Australian Associated Press