Dying With Dignity Victoria (DWDV - formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Victoria Inc.) is a law reform and education organisation pursuing public policies and laws in the state of Victoria that enhance self-determination and dignity at the end of life.

Our Charter Principles

Patrons Mr Julian Burnside QC, Hon Rod Mackenzie OAM, Hon Ian Macphee AO

DWDV has no connection with Philip Nitschke, Exit International or a publicly available ‘peaceful pill’.



Right to die: Dr Rodney Syme hands patient Ray Godbold life-ending medication

A small brown bottle of liquid sits on the table, positioned between the two men.
The glass has no label, but both the patient and the doctor know what it holds.
The sick man calls it "control" and the urologist calls it "medication", but the non-prescription substance has another name.

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On 7th May the Victorian Legislative Council passed the following motion:

“That pursuant to Sessional Order 6 this House requires the Legal and Social Issues Committee to inquire into, consider and report, no later than 31 May 2016, on the need for laws in Victoria to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end of life choices and, in particular the committee should –

(1) assess the practices currently being utilised within the medical community to assist a person to exercise their preferences for the way they want to manage their end of life, including the role of palliative care;

(2) review the current framework of legislation, proposed legislation and other relevant reports and materials in other Australian states and territories and overseas jurisdictions; and

(3) consider what type of legislative change may be required, including an examination of any federal laws that may impact on such legislation.

This motion was passed by 29 votes to 9. It follows considerable debate on a motion from Greens MLC Colleen Hartland for the House to request the Attorney General to refer the issue of voluntary euthanasia for terminally ill people to the Victorian Law Reform Commission (which would have been DWDV’s preferred option). Although it appeared that there was considerable support for this proposal, it was clear that there would be a lengthy delay in completing such an inquiry. MLC Fiona Patten (Sex Party) foreshadowed a motion for referral to a joint parliamentary committee. This was overtaken by the above motion from Upper House leader Gavin Jennings (Labor), which refers the matter to the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Legal and Social Issues. The emphatic outcome indicates that the parliament is moving towards a resolution on this issue, and to conducting a serious debate in the parliament.

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