A time to reflect as VAD laws come into effect

Victorians with a terminal illness now have the choice to die with dignity as landmark voluntary assisted dying (VAD) laws came into effect this week.

The legislation, passed by the Victorian Parliament in 2017, came into effect on Wednesday, with the State Government calling the VAD model the “safest and most conservative” in the world.

It was an historic day for Victoria and Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford said it’s a time to reflect.

“Today (Wednesday) is a day for everyone who’s been involved in the debate to reflect,” she said.

“It stirs up a lot of emotion for many people. I’ve had quite a few community members reach out to tell me what it means to them which is really lovely.”

The 2017 legislation was the second time a VAD bill has been introduced to the parliament after a bill failed to pass in 2008.

Wednesday was a significant day for Ms Pulford who’s 13-year-old daughter, Sinead, passed away from an aggressive cancer in 2014.

Ms Pulford said her personal experience has helped shape her view on VAD and said the response from the community to the most recent legislation has been “intense”.

“I’ve been in parliament for about 13 years now and I’ve never seen something with such powerful support from the community, it was quite extraordinary,” she said.

“The 2008 VAD debate was a very different debate and bill.

“Since then, my personal circumstances have absolutely given me a very different perspective on the issue but also the way parliament and the government went about achieving this reform in 2017 has been very different.

For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Friday, June 21

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