On Tuesday 18 May 2021, Report no 79, A legal framework for voluntary assisted dying, is finally published by the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC).
Together with a draft Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 (Appendix F to the Report), it was tabled in Parliament.
A summary of the report and the draft Bill can be located at the website of the Queensland government.
The Commission was asked to recommend ‘the best legal framework for people who are suffering and dying to choose the manner and timing of their death in Queensland’ should voluntary assisted dying become law in this State.
Its comprehensive report details the principles on which the draft Bill is based, relevant laws in other places, and how they work in practice in Victoria. The report identifies strengths and weaknesses in those laws so as to inform the democratic process in Queensland.
A brief summary that explains the report is also available online.
The draft bill
The Commission has aimed to develop a draft law for Queensland that is compassionate, safe and practical.
The Queensland bill improves on the Victorian bill in a number of ways. It allows nurses to be administering practitioners and it allows a doctor or a nurse practitioner to include information about VAD when advising a person about their medical treatment options and palliative care. Significantly, it requires facilities such as hospitals, hospices and aged care homes not to hinder access to VAD information and to allow reasonable access by treating medicos to a person wishing to access VAD if it is unreasonable to transfer the person elsewhere.