Queensland’s Voluntary Assisted Dying law.
Voluntary assisted dying allows a person who is suffering, and dying, to choose the timing and circumstances of their death, with assistance from a health practitioner to end their life.
Under the Queensland draft legislation, voluntary assisted dying (VAD) would be restricted to people with an advanced and progressive condition that caused intolerable suffering and was expected to cause death within a year.
The person must have decision-making capacity and would have to be separately and independently assessed by two doctors. They would then be required to make three separate requests over at least nine days.
The Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying bill is currently being debated.
Tim Nicholls, the former LNP opposition leader, said he would vote in favour of VAD. “Dying peacefully without pain is one of the most wishful outcomes at the end of our days. I believe fundamentally in the freedom of the individual, it balances competing rights and where it must come to a conclusion, it does in the favour of the dying person.”
David Crisafulli, the current LNP leader, said he would oppose VAD as “It breaks a fundamental tenet of society, that human life is sacrosanct.”
Robbie Katter, the Katter’s Australia party leader, says he won’t vote for the VAD bill in any form.
Steven Miles, deputy premier of Queensland, said “Why make a rational adult who is begging to die quickly, die slowly instead?”
Yvette D’Ath, the Queensland Health Minister, said “VAD laws would offer further choice and dignity to people who were suffering and dying about the timing and circumstances of their death For some Queenslanders living with a life-limiting condition, even the best quality palliative care is unable to effectively manage their pain, symptoms or suffering.”
David Janetzki, the Deputy Opposition Leader, would not support the bill.
Shannon Fentiman, Attorney-General, will support the legislation.
There are many people who have watched their relatives suffer painful deaths, and would prefer an option to avoid the pain and suffering that many will otherwise go through, as they knowingly face a certain painful death.
Various surveys have shown that about 80% of Queenslanders support a Voluntary Assisted Dying law.
In a National Seniors Australia survey of 3,514 older Australians, it was found that 85.7% agreed with the right to die.
- Pro-VAD commenters emphasised the importance of “quality of life” and “dying with dignity”.
- Anti-VAD commenters often based their arguments on religious views, such as the belief that humans do not have the right to end life.
Every month, an average of seven Queenslanders who are suffering from a terminal, chronic or degenerative condition commit suicide.
A Voluntary Assisted Dying law would permit these an easier end.
Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021
Dying with Dignity Queensland Inc.
‘I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of the way in which I will die.