Queensland Premier launches End of Life Choices Inquiry
On the 14 November 2018, Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk launched a parliamentary inquiry into the delivery of aged care, end of life and palliative care in Queensland across the health and ageing service sector.
As part of the 12 month inquiry, the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee will consider whether Queensland should legalise voluntary assisted dying. The inquiry will be similar to the Victorian Inquiry into End of Life Choices that lead to the passing of their Voluntary Assisted Dying Act in late 2017. The Queensland Committee is due to report by November 30, 2019.
The inquiry will call for public submissions to canvass the views of the community as well as health professionals, on the need for voluntary assisted dying.
The legal framework of the Victoria law will be examined as part of the inquiry’s terms of reference, as will reviews and reports from other Australian states and territories, and overseas jurisdictions where these laws have been implemented.
Queensland has never debated a voluntary assisted dying bill but with the support of Dying with Dignity Queensland and the $5 million trust fund left by former Brisbane lord mayor Clem Jones for an assisted dying campaign, Queensland may follow Victorian and Western Australia and introduce this compassionate law within the next few years.