The recommendation that voluntary assisted dying for terminally ill adults should be legalised in Queensland has been welcomed by the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).
“We are pleased with the recommendations put forward by the Committee and call on the Queensland government to make this issue a legislative priority,” said Mr Greg Spinda, Queensland State President, ALA.
In a submission last year to the inquiry conducted by the Queensland Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee, the ALA supported the introduction of a voluntary assisted dying scheme with a number of eligibility requirements, including that a person must have the capacity to make decisions.
“The process to access voluntary assisted dying should be clear and include a number of safeguards to ensure that only eligible people can make this choice,” said Mr Spinda. “This will protect vulnerable individuals and members of the medical profession who choose to participate in the scheme.
“Allowing people in some circumstances to access voluntary assisted dying is consistent with the increasing focus on patient-centred care, which allows competent patients to make choices about their medical treatment.
“We are pleased to see that the recommendations include no restrictions on timeframe to expected death. This is helpful for those with chronic conditions as it recognises that these illnesses are subjective and unpredictable.
“We urge the government to accept these recommendations and move forward with the development of the legislation.”