In the last week of February, the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) came with an update about their Report on Voluntary Assisted Dying: A-legal-framework-for-Voluntary-assisted-dying.
The QRRC is required to develop detailed legislation that is compassionate, safe and practical. The legislation has to be suited to Queensland’s unique conditions, including its geography, population diversity, access to qualified health professionals and public and private hospital systems. It is intended that the final legislation will maintain consistency with existing VAD laws in other Australian states, allowing room for exceptions that accommodate for Queensland’s unique conditions including geography, population diversity, varying levels of access to healthcare services and special consideration for remote communities.
The Commission continues to work hard on this review, and hopes to meet a reporting date of 10 May 2021. However, the QLRC has emphasised the complexities involved in developing this Bill and flagged that the draft may not be ready to meet the current deadline of May 10 2021.
Reaction of Dying with Dignity Queensland
Overall we are pleased with the interim report and note the QLRC’s considerations for the legislation are consistent with our position. We have cautioned the Government specifically regarding timeframes – we acknowledge the need to get the legislation right, however we do not want to prolong the waiting period for Queenslanders to access the scheme. We have encouraged the Government to provide the QLRC any resources they require to meet the current deadline. In the case that further extension is needed, we have asked that not affect the date of ascent, but result in a shortened implementation phase.