Queenslanders urged to support Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation

Published: 11 September 2021 

The Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) has today called on all Queenslanders to acknowledge the pain and mental anguish experienced by those with a terminal illness.

QNMU Secretary Beth Mohle said nurses, midwives and carers knew firsthand the trauma experienced by Queenslanders with terminal illnesses - and those who love and care for them.

Ms Mohle today called on Queensland politicians to think of these people and choose in favour of providing choice for those with a terminal illness.

She said this was not a time to play politics or stand in the way of compassionate care for those with a terminal illness.

“I ask all Queenslanders to please put themselves in the shoes of those with terminal illnesses, their families and those who care for them,’’ Ms Mohle said.

“We must ensure that those who with a terminal illness should have the legal right to decide how their life ends, in consultation with medical professionals. This will grant precious dignity in their final days.’’  

Ms Mohle said the vast majority of Queenslanders supported this important and compassionate reform. She said 87 per cent 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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