October Professional Development Program — register now!

Decision-making at the end of life – conversations with people requesting voluntary assisted dying with Professor Margaret O’Connor, AM, Emeritus Professor of Nursing at Monash University.

Decision-making at the end of life – conversations with people requesting voluntary assisted dying 

Professor Margaret O’Connor, AM, Emeritus Professor of Nursing at Monash University.

Register for our October program


About the program

In 2019, after more than a year of community and health service preparation, voluntary assisted dying became a legal option for those facing the end of their life. A model of care, clinical guidelines, the governance and oversight, the medications to be used, medical training, and community information were all developed to support the model.

This presentation will outline the framework of the legislation and after a year of operating, will highlight some of the contemporary data. It will also address some of the difficulties in conflating palliative care and assisted dying, as well as managing conscientious objection. 

Clear communication is essential in accompanying a person through decision-making about their end-of-life, while respecting individual autonomy. We will discuss ways to navigate individualised end-of-life care, for those seeking to actively end their life.

About the speaker

Margaret O’Connor, AM, is Emeritus Professor of Nursing at Monash University, having previously been Professor of Palliative Care Nursing for 12 years. She has a distinguished career in clinical palliative care; and in establishing home-based palliative care services across Melbourne, for which she received an Order of Australia in 2005. She continues to work at Melbourne City Mission Palliative Care, assisting with research.

Margaret was appointed to the Ministerial Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying in 2017, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Panel in 2018/19 and is now a member of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board. In 2018 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to explore palliative care and the assisted dying journey for people facing the end of life.