Evidence-Based Law-Making on Voluntary Assisted Dying
Australian Health Review 44(4) 544-546.
3 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2020 Last revised: 2 Sep 2020
Date Written: November 29, 2019
Voluntary assisted dying is a major social policy issue with significant implications for the health system, health and medical professionals and the wider community. Voluntary assisted dying is now lawful in Victoria in limited circumstances, and other states are likely to follow Victoria and legalise the practice. In the same way that we expect the making of health policy and the provision of health care to be evidence based, so too should we should expect evidence-based law making from our parliamentarians on this important topic.
What is known about the topic?
The importance of evidence when making health policy and providing evidence-based medical care is well accepted. Australian states are actively considering laws about voluntary assisted dying.
What does this paper add?
This paper argues that evidence-based law making by parliamentarians is needed as they deliberate proposed voluntary assisted dying laws. There has been limited recognition of the value of evidence-based approaches in the discipline of law.
What are the implications for practitioners?
A failure by parliaments to adequately consider evidence can lead to suboptimal law making. When this occurs about important health issues, such as voluntary assisted dying, it leads to problematic regulatory frameworks for patients, health professionals and health systems.
Keywords: voluntary assisted dying, assisted dying, health policy, end of life care, end of life law, law reform
JEL Classification: I18, I10, K30, K32, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation