The Organisation and Its Aims
Founded in 1974, Dying with Dignity Victoria (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Victoria Inc.) (DWDV) is an education, "self-help" and law reform organisation pursuing public policies and laws in the state of Victoria that enhance self-determination and dignity at the end of life.
Our aims are:
- to promote legislation that gives effect to freedom of choice and individual human rights to acknowledge the right of terminally and incurably ill people with profound suffering to die with dignity. See our Legislative Charter
- to carry out a continuing public education policy to achieve such legislation;
- to educate the public in the need for Living Wills and Advance Directives
- and provide counseling and other assistance to people on their end of life rights
DWDV is a member of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies and its mission statement can be viewed here.
For many people the process of dying involves pain and suffering. With developments in medical science, this process can be extended, often indefinitely. Sometimes the pain cannot be controlled without unacceptable side-effects; sometimes it is not pain that causes the suffering, but the loss of control over bodily functions and total dependence on others. In such situations, the patient may not be facing imminent death but may be suffering from an incurable, degenerative illness, such as multiple sclerosis or motor neurone disease.
In short, our aim is to change the law so that medically assisted dying is permitted at the request of competent, incurably ill people who wish to avoid pointless suffering and degeneration, and to control their own dying. more... why we need law reform.
DWDV in Action
Lobbying politicians and writing submissions with the aim of achieving law reform to allow medically assisted dying at the request of rational, informed, profoundly suffering adults.
Working to improve both the legislation and the practical impact of the Medical Treatment Act.
Informing the general public, professionals and students through media interaction, talking to community groups and sponsoring public lectures and workshops.
Providing members with information and other member services including counseling and forms to facilitate protection of their end of life rights.