Vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing in­quiry

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS | YOUR SAY -

PREMIER An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk should be con­grat­u­lated for back­ing a cross-party par­lia­men­tary in­quiry into end-of-life care, in­clud­ing vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing law re­form.

It is hoped the in­quiry can start as soon as pos­si­ble to en­sure we of­fer a choice to the ter­mi­nally ill who find them­selves suf­fer­ing with no prospect of re­lief as they ap­proach the end of their life.

Queens­lan­ders must now be on guard against the myths and fic­tions that will be spread by the small and un­rep­re­sen­ta­tive num­ber of peo­ple who op­pose this long-over­due law re­form.

Those who want to deny the ter­mi­nally ill the op­tion of vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing will claim pal­lia­tive care is suf­fi­cient even though it is not a case of “one or the other”.

Pal­lia­tive care and vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing can co-ex­ist and be of­fered as op­tions for those who should have the right to make their own free choice.

Vic­to­ria and ju­ris­dic­tions around the globe have proved it is pos­si­ble to de­liver law re­forms that pro­vide for a work­able and reg­u­lated frame­work for vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing.

Now it is Queens­land’s turn to ex­am­ine sim­i­lar re­forms to ad­dress this sig­nif­i­cant so­cial is­sue, which has wide and deep com­mu­nity sup­port.

Pro­fes­sional mar­ket re­search re­cently com­mis­sioned and re­leased by the Clem Jones Trust and Dy­ing With Dig­nity Queens­land shows sup­port for vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing at close to 80 per cent.

The re­sults show op­po­nents are well and truly in the mi­nor­ity.

But that will not stop them mak­ing in­flam­ma­tory, mis­lead­ing, and false claims in their bid to deny the ter­mi­nally ill a choice.

Queens­lan­ders need to be alert to such bla­tant mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions in com­ing weeks and months. — David Muir Chair, the Clem Jones Trust

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