The issue of voluntary euthanasia as assisted dying is a very serious and emotive issue and, understandably, generates significant debate within the community, with strong views being held on both sides.
The Palaszczuk Government respects the notion of supporting people and improving the lives of all Queenslanders and also understands that people deserve the best quality of life throughout their lives.
For this reason, there are many different options available in the form of advanced care planning and palliative care. These services provide physical, psychological and emotional, as well as spiritual support for patients and their families and friends. Providing these services allows for the patient to be as free as possible from unnecessary suffering and assists in maintaining dignity and independence.
To support the provision and coordination of personalised care for people at the end of their lives, the Palaszczuk Government has released Queensland’s Statewide strategy for end-of-life care 2015 and A charter for care of adult patients as the end of life in May 2016.
These documents can be viewed online on the Queensland Health website.
With regard to the legislation of voluntary euthanasia, it is important to remember that there remains significant concern about legislation of euthanasia and the ability of government to ensure that the lives of the vulnerable, the elderly, and those unable to speak for themselves are sufficiently-protected. With that in mind, the Palaszczuk Government has not current plans to introduce legislation to allow for voluntary euthanasia and will closely-monitor developments in other jurisdictions.
Any Member of Parliament is permitted, under the Standing Rules and Orders of the Legislative Assembly, to introduce a Private Member’s Bill on any issue including euthanasia. Should such a Bill be introduced, Labor Party members of Parliament will be free to exercise a conscience vote when voting on the Bill.