Pharmacists could be asked to dispense assisted-dying kits

Pharmacists could be called upon to dispense lethal medication to terminally ill people, if Victoria accepts the recommendations of a panel led by neurosurgeon Professor Brian Owler.

The medication would be in a locked box and there would be no time limit on when it needed to be used. The box would likely contain a combination of medications, but this has not been finalised.

The patient would need to be expected to die within 12 months, be a Victorian resident, and aged at least 18 years, according to the proposed guidelines released by the panel.

They must also make three requests, one of them written, and show sufficient mental capacity to make the decision.

People with dementia are excluded from the process. People would also not be able to apply to die on the grounds of mental illness or disability alone.

"This is about people who are suffering at the end of their lives who are