What CQ politicians think about proposed euthanasia bill
Central Queensland politicians offered their views on euthanasia on Tuesday following Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s announcement the State Government would introduce a voluntary assisted dying bill to parliament next week.
The proposed legislation would be the subject of inquiry by the government’s Health Committee, debated in September, and if passed, implemented over the following 15 months.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke was part of a committee on aged, end-of-life, and palliative care, on which he said he heard “absolutely horrendous stories”.
“During the travels around the state we heard different stories from people that were terminally ill who actually committed suicide, and family members then found that person,” he said.
“That came up quite a few times.”
Mr O’Rourke said he wanted to read the final legislation, but felt he would probably support it.
“I did a survey on my Facebook page and had about 600 responses from people in Rockhampton, with about 90 per cent of respondents supporting voluntary assisted dying, and I’ve actually put another poll out again just half an hour ago asking people to come back to me again,” he said.
“I really do want to represent the region, but my personal leaning is that I am supportive of voluntary assisted dying. I do believe people should have a choice.”
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said it was important to pay attention to the public’s concerns about the legislation as the matter was “extremely complex and deeply personal”.
She said she was generally in favour of voluntary assisted dying, but wanted to make sure adequate protections were built into the law.
“I personally support giving everyone in Queensland the choice to die with dignity,” she said.
“I support legislative reform in principle but will need time to see the details in the bill which has been tabled.
“I support the Health Committee’s inquiry into the bill following its introduction next week.”
Member for Callide Colin Boyce said it was too soon for him to decide how he would cast his vote.
“Until such time as I’ve been able to peruse the bill, I won’t be making comment on that,” he said.
Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar felt likewise.
“I want to see the bill,” he said.
“That’s all I can really say at the moment.”
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher has been contacted for comment.
Ms Palaszczuk said that the Queensland Law Reform Commission recommended that to be eligible for voluntary assisted dying, a person must satisfy the following requirements:
- have an eligible condition that is advanced and progressive and likely to cause death within 12 months
- have a capacity to make a decision around end-of-life choices
- be acting voluntarily and without coercion
- be at least 18 years of age
- satisfy residency requirements including being an Australian citizen or permanent resident and have been a resident of Queensland for at least a year.
A summary of QLRC’s framework may be read here.
Originally published as What CQ politicians think about proposed euthanasia bill