Queensland votes for Voluntary Assisted Dying 

Published: 17 September 2021 

The Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) today welcomes the successful passing of the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) bill.

QNMU Secretary Beth Mohle said the bill, which was passed in Queensland Parliament last night, acknowledged the pain and suffering of those with terminal illnesses – and those who care for them.

Ms Mohle said nurses, midwives and carers knew firsthand the trauma experienced by Queenslanders with terminal illnesses. She commended the 61 Queensland politicians who voted in favour of providing choice for those with a terminal illness.

“The QNMU commends all who voted and campaigned for this bill which will help ease the pain and suffering of terminally ill Queenslanders from 2023,’’ Ms Mohle said.

“This bill, once enacted, will help grant precious dignity to terminally ill Queenslanders in their final days.’’

Ms Mohle said it was essential palliative care received adequate funding in Queensland. The QNMU believes all Queenslanders should have access to palliative care and that nursing models play a critical role in the provision of palliative care state-wide and must be grown.

The vast majority of Queenslanders supported this important and compassionate reform. Ms Mohle said over 85% of QNMU members surveyed supported the change.

A summary of the QNMU’s council endorsed position in relation to VAD is as follows: 

The QNMU supports legislative reform to enable persons who have an incurable physical illness that creates unrelieved, unbearable and profound suffering to have the right to choose to die with dignity in a manner acceptable to them. They should not be compelled to suffer beyond their wishes.

While the QNMU is responding on behalf of the union as a whole, our membership comes from diverse cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds and hold a range of beliefs and attitudes about voluntary assisted dying. We acknowledge the sensitivity and delicacy of this issue, and that nurses and midwives have the right to hold their own opinion and for their opinion to be respected. 

The QNMU supports those health practitioners who do not wish to participate in the voluntary assisted dying scheme and conscientiously object to involvement.

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