Queenslanders are being asked for their views on euthanasia as part of a historic and wide-ranging review into aged, palliative and terminally-ill care. Source: The Courier-Mail.
The issues paper, to be tabled in Parliament today, will ask Queenslanders to consider contentious issues such as whether assisted suicide should be available in the state, how it should be defined, under what circumstances a person should be eligible to access assisted suicide and whether or not it should be limited to persons aged over 18.
The community will have until April 15 to respond before the committee embarks on a series of public hearings across the state.
Parliament’s Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee was last year tasked with conducting the year-long inquiry.
Committee chair Aaron Harper said there had been 51 attempts nationwide to bring in assisted suicide laws but it had never before been attempted to in Queensland.
“It’s historical, it’s significant. We want to hear the views of the Queenslanders,” he said.
Mr Harper said a New Zealand inquiry into euthanasia received more than 30,000 submissions.
“We are expecting this to be one of the biggest (in Queensland),” he said.
“No one wants to see people suffer at the end of their life so how do we better care for people. This has got to be an option that we ask Queenslanders to present views on.”
Deputy Chair Mark McArdle said Queenslanders were being asked to respond to part or all of the issues covered in the paper.
“Each segment will be dealt with as a very important component of the inquiry. There’s no one segment more important than the other,” he said.
“The input of Queenslanders, whether they are a doctor, a nurse or a parent or indeed a spouse of those who have passed away, their views are critical.”
The committee will look at euthanasia legislation within Australia as well as overseas and will report back in November with the option open to suggest new laws to the House.
Queenslanders will get their say on euthanasia as issues paper tabled (The Courier-Mail)