Monday, September 25, 2023

Regional doctors to provide voluntary assisted dying

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Michelle Daw, Yorke Peninsula Country Times

Doctors in the region covered by the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network are among those who have completed mandatory training for Voluntary Assisted Dying.

The next phase of the program will involve expanding services in regional areas to further improve access.

Voluntary Assisted Dying Board presiding member Associate Professor Melanie Turner encouraged more clinicians to consider registering for VAD training so they could support South Australians with the care they may need, no matter where they lived in the state.

“The heartfelt reflections provided to the Voluntary Assisted Dying review board by patients and family members have reinforced the importance of VAD as an end-of-life option; providing relief from suffering for patients and comfort for the bereaved,” she said.

There are 60 medical practitioners who have completed the mandatory training, with a further 45 registered or part-way through.

Thirty regional doctors have registered to take the training, 16 have completed training and are eligible to deliver VAD in SA, including several in the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network region.

VAD is available for people who meet strict criteria, including having an incurable, advanced and progressive disease, illness, or medical condition expected to cause death within 6 months (or 12 months for a neurodegenerative condition), and that is causing suffering to the person that cannot be relieved in a tolerable manner.

Regional patients and doctors can seek support through the statewide Care Navigator Service and from a dedicated regional VAD liaison nurse by contacting Health. VADCareNavigators@sa.gov.au, or phoning 0403 087 390.

Doctors from metropolitan Adelaide are also able to support regional patients.

Yorke Peninsula Country Times 14 June 2023

This article appeared in the Yorke Peninsula Country Times, 14 June 2023.

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