Ur­gent need for VAD

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

SEV­ERAL state MPs at­tended a fo­rum on vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing held at Par­lia­ment House

in Bris­bane ear­lier this week.

The event was or­gan­ised by the Clem Jones Trust and Dy­ing With Dig­nity.

Queens­land with the sup­port of Speaker Cur­tis Pitt, and we thank him and those MPs present for their in­ter­est. Our fo­rum fo­cused on the ur­gent need for a State Par­lia­men­tary In­quiry to as­sess ex­pert ev­i­dence and sift fact from fic­tion to help draft new laws.

Queens­land is the only state that has not ex­am­ined VAD through its State Par­lia­ment.

The Queens­land Gov­ern­ment wants to wait and see how Vic­to­ria’s VAD law op­er­ates af­ter it takes ef­fect.

That means noth­ing hap­pens here un­til af­ter

mid-2019 de­spite the fact a mean­ing­ful in­quiry would take 12 months at the bare min­i­mum.

Ev­i­dence to Vic­to­ria’s in­quiry showed that at least one per­son a week took their own life in that state in some­times hor­ri­ble, tragic, and dread­fully lonely cir­cum­stances be­cause of the ab­sence of VAD as a le­gal and safe choice.

The sit­u­a­tion is likely to be the same in Queens­land.

The longer we de­lay an in­quiry and new laws the more peo­ple suf­fer.

There is plenty an in­quiry could do right now to ex­am­ine how VAD laws overseas are work­ing, and plenty of ex­perts whose ev­i­dence an in­quiry

could con­sider right now. Sadly, there is also no short­age of chal­leng­ing per­sonal sto­ries from Queens­lan­ders that an in­quiry could hear right now.

— David Muir, Chair Clem Jones Trust

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