Message from the Presiding Member (Voluntary Assisted Dying Board Annual Report 2022-23)

To the South Australian Community,

It is an honour to present the inaugural Annual Report of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board of South Australia.

As the Review Board commences its first annual review, we acknowledge the decades of dedication and community advocacy that have led us to this point. This has enabled 45 South Australians to make this end of life choice within a safe and compassionate legal framework in the first 5 months of voluntary assisted dying being available in South Australia.

Throughout this journey, engagement with patients, their families, healthcare professionals, legal experts and the broader community has been invaluable in shaping the voluntary assisted dying pathway.

We continue to learn, adapt, and refine our approach with all of the valuable feedback and reflections we have received as well as the data that we continue to collect. This has allowed us to continue the outstanding work of the previous Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Taskforce which, along with the teams in SA Health, have built the structure for our voluntary assisted dying services in SA.

I am confident that South Australia’s voluntary assisted dying pathway remains grounded in the values of compassion, dignity, and respect whilst maintaining the highest standards of care delivered with robust oversight.

This report presents a comprehensive analysis of the key activities, outcomes, and statistics from the first 5 months of delivering voluntary assisted dying in South Australia and outlines how services have already improved and our focus for the coming year.

The Review Board extends sincere gratitude to all those involved in supporting access to voluntary assisted dying and deepest sympathies to those grieving their loved ones. Thank you to the South Australian community for supporting voluntary assisted dying as an option for South Australians.

Associate Professor, Melanie Turner
Presiding Member, Voluntary Assisted Dying
Review Board