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Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

What are the cost and resource implications of voluntary assisted dying and euthanasia?

Peter Hudson A B * , David Marco A , Richard De Abreu Lourenco C and Jennifer Philip D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Palliative Care, c/o St Vincent’s Hospital and The University of Melbourne, 41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Vic. 3065, Australia.

B End of Life Research Department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

C Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, Australia.

D The University of Melbourne, St Vincent’s Hospital and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Vic., Australia.

* Correspondence to:

Australian Health Review
Submitted: 24 October 2023  Accepted: 16 January 2024  Published: 6 February 2024

© 2024 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing on behalf of AHHA.



Voluntary assisted dying (VAD) legislation has now been passed in all Australian states. Although VAD has been operating in many settings worldwide for a considerable time, the specific costs associated with VAD seem unclear. The aim of this study was therefore to outline the common resource implications associated with VAD.


A rapid literature review and grey literature search were undertaken.


We found a paucity of empirically informed detail regarding the actual costs required to implement VAD. Hence, we tabulated a list of potential costs that could be used for subsequent evaluation and a future research agenda.


There is a lack of publicly available information related to the costs associated with implementing VAD. Given that this is a significant change in policy and many multidisciplinary practitioners may be directly or indirectly involved in VAD it is important that associated costs are clearly outlined so that appropriate resources can be allocated.

Keywords: equity, ethics, health economics, health funding and financing, health policy, health services management, health systems, palliative care, voluntary assisted dying.


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