LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: VAD laws should be election issue
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
IT WOULD be beneficial to our whole community if more state MPs and candidates seeking election to the Queensland Parliament on 31 October took an interest in the issue of voluntary assisted dying (VAD).
Recently I participated in a very useful public forum on VAD arranged by Aaron Harper, the state MP for the North Queensland seat of Thuringowa who chaired the Health Committee Inquiry that recommended VAD laws for Queensland.
That recommendation was acted on by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who asked the Queensland Law Reform Commission to draft a VAD Bill and return it by March next year.
But the fate of VAD laws now rests with voters and the people they choose as their local MPs at the October election.
Unless a majority of MPs in the next parliament support VAD laws they will not become a reality.
Reliable polls consistently showing four out of five Queenslanders are in favour of laws to allow rational terminally ill people with unremediable suffering to voluntarily choose the timing and circumstances of their own end of life.
It is vital that politicians and the wider community understand that even with the most expert palliative care, the Australian Palliative Care Outcome Collaboration figures show that severe symptoms of suffering persist and are unable to be relieved in approximately 15 per cent of people in the period leading up to death.
Inability to control all suffering at end of life is recognised by a majority of doctors with polling by the leading medical publication Australian Doctor in 2016 revealing two out of three supported VAD law reform.
In-depth parliamentary inquiries — including those in Victoria and West Australia as well as the cross-party inquiry here in Qld chaired by Mr Harper — have unequivocally shown that a significant number of people have non remediable end of life suffering leading to extremely poor quality of death and, in the absence of a legal alternative, terminally ill people are taking distressing and lonely actions to end their own suffering.
Copious evidence now exists to clearly demonstrate that safeguards in VAD laws work and that the so called “slippery slope” arguments by VAD opponents have no basis.
Those seeking to represent Queenslanders in our next State Parliament should know that they will secure voter support if they back VAD laws.
Voters in turn need to satisfy themselves that the people they choose to represent them truly reflect their views on this important issue.
Dr Sid Finnigan, MBBS FRANZCO, Queensland State Convenor, Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice
DARREN BAILEY: They will just ignore it and have mad unregulated parties with no adult supervision. If we have learnt anything it is that kids and young adults don’t listen... (although common sense seems harder and harder to find now days, no matter the age group). Kids can’t always see the big picture... Let’s just hope there are not overdoses and drunken violence from the hundreds of individual parties that will spring up everywhere. (Re schoolies cancellation)
KEVIN A PORTER: Anna isn’t happy just losing current voters. She needs to make future voters hate Labor too. (Re schoolies cancellation)
TIM PITTS: Why couldn’t she go to a hospital in NSW? (Re woman loses unborn child after being denied entry to Qld.)
HEATHER MORIER: What’s wrong with the hospitals in NSW you would think that the way people are carrying on there aren’t any.(Re woman loses unborn child after being denied entry to Qld.)
SCOTT HEADON: Those of you here that live in CQ making stupid comments defending the QLD government’s, mainly the chief health officer’s unacceptable management of this just remember next time you or family members need specialised medical care in Brisbane, or require transport to a Brisbane hospital in an emergency just say no - after all there are plenty of good hospitals locally you can use... save the tax payer a few dollars and the medical professionals in Brisbane a few hours in time and effort. Do you see how stupid that sounds - that’s what you sound like. But after all, QLD hospitals are for QLD people...(Re woman loses unborn child after being denied entry to Qld.)
JANELLE BRADWELL: Every citizen in Australia has the right to go to the closest hospital when life or death depends on it. We are supposed to be one country, one island within the world, not separate rocks on an island. These people who can’t see anything about borders being closed to these sort of matters, I hope you never ever find yourself in the same situation as this poor mother. Stop thinking about yourselves for once and think of others.(Re woman loses unborn child after being denied entry to Qld.)
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