As the peak body representing the concerns and interests of older people in Victoria, Council of the Ageing (COTA Victoria) respects the diversity of opinions and beliefs held within the older population. We place value on public discussion and commend the Victorian parliament on its’ Inquiry into current laws in Victoria and other jurisdictions that address citizens making decisions regarding their own end-of-life.
We have focused our submission on practices currently being utilised within the medical community as it pertains directly to the experience of older people at end-of-life. In particular COTA believes that current systems (both legal and medical) require review and innovation to make real (and informed) choice possible. The exploration of end-of-life decision-making, autonomy and rights (with safeguards against abuse) requires a holistic approach across legal frameworks, medical practice and end-of-life care planning and services.