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Seeking Doctors In Support

From the group that brought you Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) legislation – Dying With Dignity Victoria (DWDV)!

Finally, some of the people suffering intolerably at the end-of-life will be able to end their lives in dignity, when and where they choose, with loved ones around them if they so choose. But we recognise not everyone will find the process of accessing the new legislation easy. That’s why on behalf of DWDV, Dr Rodney Syme is offering personalised support and counselling for those who seek it.

If you, or a loved one, needs to speak to someone with over 20 years of experience supporting people at end-of-life, please email us at office@dwdv.org.au or call the office on 9874 0503. We’ll put you in touch with Dr Syme.

But we need your help!

We need to build a list of GPs who are supportive of VAD – and GPs who are not supportive. This is important AND urgent! Next time you see your GP, please ask them the following question: “If I were eligible under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act, would you support me if I wanted to use the process?”.

Then, let us know what your GP said – are they supportive or not? You could also ask them: “Have you already done the VAD training? If not, do you intend to do it soon? ” Please help us to help you, and others, by encouraging your GP to do the training.

The process for provision of this service to the public would work as follows:- There is a need to protect doctor confidentiality, as well as conforming with the legal requirements. When a person – someone seeking VAD, and hence a potential patient (“PP”) of a supportive doctor – wants to initiate the process, PP would contact the DWDV office. PP would be put in contact with Dr Rodney Syme.  

If Dr Syme were to decide that PP was likely to meet the requirements for VAD, he would contact a general practitioner (“GP”) on his list of names. That general practitioner would likely have the surgery closest to PP’s place of residence. If GP were willing to consider the case, Dr Syme would then give PP the contact details for GP. PP would contact GP, who would then decide whether or not to take PP on as a patient.  

Dr Syme’s list of names is highly confidential. The process provides for the general practitioner to become familiar with the person concerned before initiating the process for VAD.

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