ACT passes voluntary assisted dying legislation

2 minute read

Patients can take advantage of the new Act from November 2025.

ACT has become the latest, and potentially the last, Australian jurisdiction to pass voluntary dying legislation after the territory’s Legislative Assembly passed the bill today.

The ACT’s scheme will become available to patients from 3 November 2025.

A person who has a condition that is “advanced, progressive and expected to cause the person’s death” will be eligible for voluntary assisted dying once two health practitioners sign off on access.

A review of the legislation will take place three years after coming into effect. The review would consider whether a person should be able to access voluntary assisted dying if they had lived in the ACT for less than a year, was a child with decision-making capacity or accessing voluntary assisted dying through advanced care planning.

It has taken 29 years for the ACT to get to this point, exercising a right it was denied by Federal Parliament since it overturned the Northern Territory’s VAD laws in 1995. At that time the Commonwealth passed laws to prevent the territories from legislating on the matter. That ban was overturned in 2022, allowing the ACT to progress the bill that was passed today.

The Northern Territory has yet to reintroduce any VAD legislation, meaning the ACT may be the last jurisdiction to do so.


VAD doctor’s fine paid by fundraiser

New bill to legalise telehealth VAD

VAD telehealth ruling ‘incoherent’ and ‘devastating’

The bill passed the ACT Legislative Assembly today with support from all Labor and Greens members and Liberal members Elizabeth Lee, Leanne Castley, Mark Parton and Nicole Lawder.

“This is a significant moment for the ACT Legislative Assembly,” said ACT chief minister Andrew Barr today.

“It follows years of advocacy from MLAs past and present to restore territory rights.”

ACT Human Rights Minister Tara Cheyne said the legislation would empower those with a terminal illness.

“It is a compassionate option in response to those facing intolerable suffering at the end of their lives which promotes autonomy and dignity,” she said.

This article was first published by Health Services Daily. Read the full story here, or subscribe here.

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×