Australia

Terminally ill Victorian issued first assisted dying permit under new euthanasia law

The first permit has been granted to a terminally ill Victorian under euthanasia laws were passed in that state Source: AAP

The first permit has been issued in Victoria to a person seeking to end their life after laws came into effect in June allowing end of life decisions.

The first permit allowing a person to end their life has been issued in Victoria after laws took effect in June allowing euthanasia.

The voluntary assisted dying laws allow terminally ill adults to end their lives after two medical professionals have signed off on the application, and a cooling-off period has passed.

The Herald Sun reports on Wednesday at least one permit has been issued, but the identity of the person and their condition remains private, with the Department of Health and Human Services refusing to confirm if any other patients have begun the process.

"We know that doctors are talking to patients about voluntary assisted dying and are carrying out assessments," a department spokesman said.

"It is giving people at the end of their life a genuine and compassionate choice over the manner and timing of their death.

"The Victorian model for the Voluntary Assisted Dying system is working."

Once a permit is granted, patients have access to lethal medications, which by law must be kept in a locked box until they are used.

More information about the voluntary assisted dying law can be found here.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide can contact Lifeline 24 hours a day online and on 13 11 14. Other services include the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, Beyond Blue and Kids Helpline (for people aged five to 25) on 1800 55 1800.

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement can be contacted on 1800 642 066.

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