Albany Community Hospice study calls for local voices to inform Voluntary Assisted Dying policy

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Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Albany Community Hospice clinical hospice manager Fiona Jane.
Camera IconAlbany Community Hospice clinical hospice manager Fiona Jane. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

The Rural Clinical School of WA and Albany Community Hospice have launched a new study to explore how to implement the State’s landmark Voluntary Assisted Dying Act — and they want to hear from the community.

The law passed in December will grant competent adults suffering from terminal illness, usually with a prognosis of less than six months, access to a formal assessment process for voluntary assisted dying.

Focus groups, running until September, will explore views of staff, volunteers and the community to help the hospice develop new policies that respond to the needs and expectations of the community.

Clinical hospice manager Fiona Jane said the community, hospitals and others in the healthcare sector needed to prepare now to roll out the new law in June 2021.

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“Our hospice is 30 years old and has always relied strongly on the community for practical and financial support,” she said.

“It has always been mindful of the strong community links that underpin its mission and values.

“As part of the hospice’s response to the questions raised by passage of the Act and required implementation planning, the board feels that the values and attitudes of the community, staff and volunteers should be central, and hence has supported these focus groups.”

For details, contact Kate Gersbach at the Albany Community Hospice on 0410 507 331 or at kate.gersbach@albanyhospice.org.au.

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