Watch our Webinar: What are the implications of voluntary assisted dying for nursing practice?
Voluntary assisted dying (euthanasia and assisted dying/suicide) (VAD) is a major legal, ethical and policy issue with significant implications for health systems, multidisciplinary health care professionals and communities. In Australia, VAD is lawful in Victoria in limited circumstances, has recently commenced in Western Australia since early July, and will be lawful in Tasmania in due course. This seminar seeks to outline key implications of VAD for nursing practice. You can watch a captioned recording of the panel discussion below.
This webinar forms part of our ongoing 25 Years of Nursing event series. To find out more about upcoming events and view recordings of previous events, click here.
About our speakers
Professor Peter Hudson is the Director of the Centre for Palliative Care which is a state-wide academic unit based at St Vincent’s Hospital and a Collaborative Centre of the University of Melbourne. Peter is a Professor (Honorary) at The University of Melbourne and is Professor (Honorary) at Vrije University (Belgium). Peter is a registered nurse with approximately 30 years’ experience in palliative care practice, education and research. He is a former vice president of Palliative Care Australia and member of the board of directors of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care. Peter is Chair of the European Association for Palliative Care’s International Palliative Care Family Caregiver Research Collaboration, and a board director of the International Society for Neuropalliative Care. He is co-lead of a multi-country European Union funded palliative care clinical trial, a past recipient of the Premier's Award for translating evidence into practice and a USA Fulbright scholar.
- Professor Lindy Willmott is a Professor of Law and member of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research in the Faculty of Business and Law at the Queensland University of Technology. She researches extensively in the end-of-life field, particularly in relation to assisted dying. She has co-authored multiple texts as well as the website ‘End of Life Law in Australia’, and is involved in empirical research projects funded by the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council. Lindy co-leads a project funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health to provide legal training to medical specialists, nurses and allied health professionals and projects funded by the Victorian and Western Australian Departments of Health to provide legal training to health practitioners on voluntary assisted dying. She was formerly a Board member of Palliative Care Australia and Commissioner with the Queensland Law Reform Commission.
- Andrea Janes has been working at South West Healthcare for the past 21 years. Clinically, she worked for 10 years in Medical/Palliative Care Inpatient Unit where she developed a love for palliative care nursing. In 2010 she became Assistant Director of Nursing. In 2013 she successfully led the organisation with Standard 2 (Partnering with Consumers). In 2015 Andrea took on the challenge of South West Regional Palliative Care Team Nurse Consultant Coordinator where her passion for palliative care was reignited with care delivery in the community setting. In 2016 Andrea was responsible for overseeing the relocation of SWH’s Chemotherapy Unit to the South West Regional Cancer Centre simultaneously with her role of Nurse Consultant Coordinator. In 2018 Andrea was involved in developing SWH’s policy and process in line with the introduction of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria. Most recently in 2020, Andrea’s role of Nurse Consultant Coordinator broadened to become Nurse Unit Manager of Cancer Services and Community Palliative Care. Andrea has a strong passion for providing a high quality and evidence based approach to person centred care. Throughout her nursing career, Andrea has undertaken post graduate studies in Medical Surgical Nursing, Clinical Redesign and a Diploma of Management. Andrea feels privileged to join the webinar panel to provide her nursing experiences with voluntary assisted dying.
- Susan Jury is an NZ trained clinical nurse consultant, with a Master of Public Health degree and Graduate Certificate in eHealthcare. She has an extensive and diverse project management and clinical nursing background in Australia and abroad. Together with colleague Mel van Diemen, Susan developed and delivered the Victorian statewide voluntary assisted dying Navigator Service model of care from the law's inception in 2019. The Navigator Service provides support to individuals and families, community, clinicians and health services for any aspects of voluntary assisted dying. This ranges from individual support to helping develop or review policy or procedures.
- Alice Herring is a registered nurse with clinical experience in both adult and paediatric oncology and paediatric emergency care. She holds a master’s degree in nursing, and postgraduate certificates in paediatric nursing and health professional education and has worked in several educational roles during her career. Alice has previously worked across numerous health services including the Child and Adolescent Health Service, WA Country Health Service, and most recently in the North Metropolitan Health Service as the director for Outpatient Services at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Alice began in the role of clinical nurse consultant with the WA Voluntary Assisted Dying Statewide Care Navigator Service prior to the enactment of the WA Legislation on 1 July where she leads a team of care navigators and support staff with a focus on person-centred and integrated support for patients, carers and health professionals involved in voluntary assisted dying in Western Australia.