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Qld nurses, doctors, ambos write open letter to MPs in support of VAD

30 August, 2021

An alliance of 28 groups representing doctors, nurses, ambulance officers and terminally ill Queenslanders has written to state MPs urging them to support the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.

open letter to MPsThe bill is due to be debated in parliament in mid-September.

The open letter urges MPs to vote YES to the bill, saying more than 80% of Queenslanders are in support of allowing eligible terminally ill people, who are suffering intolerably, a choice about the time and circumstances of their death.

"With strict parameters and proven safeguards, Voluntary Assisted Dying is just that – voluntary – for the person and for healthcare professionals. No one is compelled to participate," the letter reads.

"More than 20 years of data from overseas, and from Victoria since 2019, shows that Voluntary Assisted Dying laws are safe and effective.

"Voluntary assisted dying is above politics. It's above religion. It's about people.

"12 million Australians already have access to VAD laws in VIC, WA, TAS and SA. Queensland must not be left behind."

The QLD for Voluntary Assisted Dying Alliance includes Dying with Dignity Queensland, the union representing 62,000 nurses and midwives (QNMU), Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice, QLD ambulance workers (United Workers), Christians Supporting Choice for VAD and Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying Choice.   

Member organisations are available for comment.

 

Open letter to Qld MPs

Dear Queensland MPS,

Why should an eligible, terminally ill Queenslander who wants to die peacefully be told they have to suffer instead?

The time is NOW for a Voluntary Assisted Dying law.

More than 80% of Queenslanders consistently say they want this compassionate end-of-life choice. Soon, all Queensland MPs have the chance to reflect this public support and pass the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021.

It is one of the most evidence-based and consulted-upon pieces of legislation ever to go before the Queensland Parliament. 

Under this bill, eligible adults who are in the end stages of a terminal illness and suffering intolerably will have the choice to end their suffering at a time and place of their choosing, and in the presence of their loved ones, if they so choose.

With strict parameters and proven safeguards, Voluntary Assisted Dying is just that – voluntary - for the person and for healthcare professionals. No one is compelled to participate. 

Voluntary Assisted Dying is just one option among many at the end of life. We also support better funding and access to palliative care. But Palliative Care Australia itself acknowledges that even the best-resourced care cannot relieve the extreme suffering that some people endure.

More than 20 years of data from overseas, and from Victoria since 2019, shows that Voluntary Assisted Dying laws are compassionate and safe.

Voluntary assisted dying is above politics. It’s above religion. It’s about people. 

12 million Australians already have access to VAD laws in VIC, WA, TAS and SA. Queensland must not be left behind.

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