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Title: Support for and willingness to be involved in voluntary assisted dying: A multisite, cross-sectional survey study of clinicians in Victoria, Australia.
Austin Authors: Sellars, Marcus ;Tacey, Mark A ;McDougall, Rosalind;Hayes, Barbara;Pratt, Bridget;Hempton, Courtney;Detering, Karen M ;Aldrich, Rosemary;Benson, Melanie;Kirwan, Jeffrey;Gold, Michelle;O'Driscoll, Lisa;Ko, Danielle 
Affiliation: Palliative Care
Department of Health Services Research and Policy, Research School of Population Health, Australian National University
Monash Bioethics Centre, Monash University, Clayton, Australia
Faculty of Health, Arts and Innovation, Swinburne University, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia
Tasmanian Health Services, Tasmania, Australia
Palliative Care Service, Alfred Health, Prahran, Australia
3mproving End of Life Care, Alfred Health, Prahran, Australia
Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat, Australia
Research & Medical Services, Eastern Health, Box Hill, Australia
School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Advance Care Planning Program, Northern Health, Bundoora, Australia
Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Australia
Department of Supportive and Palliative Care, Peninsula Health, Frankston
Issue Date: 19-Jun-2021 2021-06-19
Publication information: Internal Medicine Journal 2021; 51(10): 1619-1628
Abstract: In the Australian state of Victoria, specialist doctors are central to the operation of Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD). However, a broad range of clinicians may be involved in the care of patients requesting or using VAD. To conduct a multisite, cross-sectional survey of clinicians in seven Victorian hospitals, to describe levels of support for and willingness to be involved in VAD and consider factors associated with clinician support for the VAD legislation and physicians' willingness to provide VAD in practice. All clinicians were invited to complete an online survey measuring demographic characteristics, awareness of and support for the VAD legislation, willingness to participate in VAD related activities, and reasons for willingness or unwillingness to participate in VAD. Of 5690 who opened the survey, 5159 (90.1%) were included in the final sample and 73% (n=3768) supported the VAD legislation. The strongest predictor of support for the VAD legislation was clinical role. Forty percent (n=238) of medical specialists indicated they would be willing to participate in either the VAD consulting or coordinating role. Doctors did not differ in willingness between high impact (44%) and low impact specialty (41%), however, doctors specializing in palliative care or geriatric medicine were significantly less willing to participate (27%). Approximately 73% of surveyed staff supported Victoria's VAD legislation. However, only a minority of medical specialists reported willingness to participate in VAD, suggesting potential access issues for patients requesting VAD in accordance with the legal requirements in Victoria. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1111/imj.15434
ORCID: 0000-0002-8299-0313
Journal: Internal Medicine Journal
PubMed URL: 34148272
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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