What we do

Dying with Dignity NSW advocates for compassion, dignity and autonomy, to allow those who are suffering to direct their own medical care, up to and including their end-of-life decisions.

After 50 years of lobbying by Dying with Dignity (DWD), NSW Parliament passed voluntary assisted dying (VAD) laws in May 2022 which will allow terminally ill people the right to end their lives quickly and peacefully with medical assistance, if they face intolerable suffering. All Australian states have now passed VAD laws.

Dying with Dignity NSW is now concentrating on ensuring that the VAD laws are implemented and operate as intended and are accessible to those who need them, regardless of where they live in NSW.

Our updated Strategic Plan outlines four key focus areas so our main activities over the next few years will include:

SUPPORT

  • Provide support and advice to individuals, family members and carers facing end-of-life situations and decisions.
  • Refer people to other organisations that can provide specialist support, information and resources.
  • Provide helpful information via a phone and email support service, webinars, seminars, the website, newsletters and brochures.
  • Strengthen regional groups to ensure that support can be provided in regional areas across NSW.

EDUCATE

  • Educate the public, healthcare providers and other stakeholders about the new VAD law and EOL planning.
  • Build relationships with medical bodies and other organisations concerned with EOL issues.
  • Pursue opportunities to collaborate with other organisations providing educational, EOL resources to avoid duplication.
  • Organise or participate in end-of-life seminars, events etc to educate the public about all EOL choices and rights.

ENGAGE

  • Engage in the NSW VAD implementation process through communication with the Dept of Health.
  • Help recruit medical practitioners to undertake the training and to provide VAD to eligible individuals.
  • Monitor the VAD scheme by collecting data and monitoring access once the scheme is operational.
  • Strengthen relationships with existing VAD Alliance members and other important stakeholders.

DEFEND

  • Monitor opponents activities and take defensive action as required.
  • Maintain a strong media and political presence by continuing to collect and publish testimonies.
  • Help ensure access to VAD in faith-based health and aged care facilities.
  • Work with interstate DWD groups to protect and potentially improve all Australian VAD laws.

OTHER ONGOING ACTIVITIES

  • Liaise with journalists to provide up to date and accurate information on voluntary assisted dying (VAD) and other end-of-life issues.
  • Write press releases to raise awareness of end-of-life issues.
  • Undertake media monitoring and share key stories with interstate organisations and advocates.
  • Encourage and support regional groups to hold meetings where supporters can share information and meet like-minded people. We have active groups on the Central Coast and the Mid North Coast – see our Events page.
  • Promote active discussion and sharing of factual information via social media – see our Facebook page and our twitter feed.
  • Write submissions for Parliamentary and other inquiries when necessary.
  • Share news of national and international developments in end-of-life options via our website and our newsletters.
  • Encourage people to discuss their end-of-life preferences with family and friends.
  • Provide advance care planning documents, so that our members can protect themselves to the full extent possible under the current law.
  • Fundraise to ensure we have sufficient funds to keep running our organisation as we move through the implementation phase and beyond following the passage of VAD legislation in May 2022.
DWD Midnorth Coast group public forum in Port Macquarie

Click for the ‘Who we are’ webpage.