Comparative and Critical Analysis of Key Eligibility Criteria For Voluntary Assisted Dying Under Five Legal Frameworks

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VAD, Voluntary Assisted Dying, MAID, Medical Assistance in Dying, Death with Dignity, Eligibility Criteria


Eligibility criteria determine a crucial question for all voluntary assisted

dying frameworks: who can access assistance to die? This article

undertakes a critical and comparative analysis of these criteria across

five legal frameworks: existing laws in Victoria, Western Australia,

Oregon and Canada, along with a model Bill for reform. Key aspects

of these criteria analysed are capacity requirements; the nature of the

medical condition that will qualify; and any required suffering. There are

many similarities between the five models but there are also important

differences which can have a significant impact on who can access

voluntary assisted dying and when. Further, seemingly straightforward

criteria can become complex in practice. The article concludes with

the implications of this analysis for designing voluntary assisted dying

regulation. Those implications include challenges of designing certain

yet fair legislation and the need to evaluate voluntary assisted dying

frameworks holistically to properly understand their operation.