La Trobe
1452838_Light,E_2024.pdf (1.31 MB)

Clinician perspectives on voluntary assisted dying and willingness to be involved: a multisite, cross-sectional survey during implementation in New South Wales, Australia

Download (1.31 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-28, 01:45 authored by E Light, I Kerridge, G Skowronski, V Venkatesha, A Krishnamurthy, S Kuper, Kerrie NoonanKerrie Noonan, P Hoyle, M Arnold, S Manley, W Stedman, L Sheahan
Background: In the context of nationwide law reform, New South Wales (NSW) became the last state in Australia to legalise voluntary assisted dying (VAD) – commencing 28 November 2023. Clinicians have divergent views regarding VAD, with varying levels of understanding, support, and willingness to be involved, and these may have a significant impact on the successful implementation. Aims: To understand levels of support, understanding and willingness to be involved in VAD among clinical staff across NSW during implementation of VAD. Methods: A multisite, cross-sectional online survey of clinicians across four local health districts, assessing relevant demographics, awareness of and support for VAD legislation and willingness to be involved in different levels of VAD-related clinical activities. Results: A total of 3010 clinical staff completed the survey. A majority of participants were aware of VAD legislation in NSW (86.35%) and supportive of it (76%), with nursing and allied health clinicians significantly more likely than medical specialists to express support. Among medical specialists, support was statistically more likely in those who did not care for patients at the end of life and those with limited knowledge of the legislation. Willingness of medical specialists to perform key roles was significantly lower, with 41.49% willing to act in coordinating or consulting roles, and only 23.21% as administering practitioners. Conclusions: The majority of clinical staff surveyed across NSW supported VAD legislation. While many eligible clinicians were reluctant to be actively involved, sufficient numbers appear willing to provide VAD services, indicating that successful implementation should be possible.


Publication Date



Internal Medicine Journal






11p. (p. 724-734)





Rights Statement

© 2023 The Authors. Internal Medicine Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Royal Australasian College of Physicians. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles


    Ref. manager