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There have been more than 50 attempts to legislate voluntary assisted dying in Australia in the past few decades. With the brief exception of the Northern Territory legislation, all have failed. In Victoria, after an extensive process, a voluntary assisted dying bill is about to be debated in Parliament. As other States embark on their own legislative processes for voluntary assisted dying, the proceedings in Victoria will be watched closely.
As Chair of the Victorian Government’s Ministerial Advisory Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying, Professor Owler will discuss the details of Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill. From his perspectives as a neurosurgeon, a public health advocate and a former AMA President, he will discuss why this legislation is important in providing a safe and compassionate option for people who are dying. He will also discuss the issues for the medical profession, as well as why he supports the voluntary assisted dying and the Victorian Bill.
Professor Brian Owler is an adult and paediatric consultant neurosurgeon who treats both adults and children with brain cancers as well as a variety of other neurosurgical conditions. He is a consultant neurosurgeon at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, the Sydney Adventist Hospital and Norwest Private Hospital.
Professor Owler is a Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Sydney. Research topics have included new treatments for the management of hydrocephalus, brain tumours and deep brain stimulation surgery. He is a Patron of the Hydrocephalus Association of NSW.
Professor Owler was President of the Australian Medical Association from 2014-16 and is a past President of AMA NSW.
Along with his interest’s clinical work he is interested in public health advocacy. This includes the RTA / NSW AMA Road Safety ‘Don’t Rush’ campaign, and lobbying to prevent childhood injury. He is also a Vice-Patron of Road Safety Education
Professor Owler is a Director of Autism Awareness Australia and the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.