About 400 terminally ill adults are expected to use Queensland’s euthanasia laws to legally end their lives during the first 12 months of the new laws coming into effect. Source: ABC News.
The modelling by Queensland Health, based on rates in Western Australia and Victoria, projects there could potentially be 380 to 430 deaths through the scheme in 2023.
Queensland’s voluntary assisted dying (VAD) laws come into effect on January 1 — almost 15 months after the legislation passed state Parliament.
Professor Keith McNeil, the chair of Queensland’s VAD implementation taskforce, believes it is the “biggest piece of social legislation” the state has introduced in his lifetime.
Faith-based aged care facilities do not have to participate in VAD but under the laws must not create barriers for their residents who want to use it. This means they have to allow other medical practitioners “reasonable” access.
In a statement, Catholic Health Australia’s strategy and mission director Brigid Meney said Catholic hospitals, aged care and other care services will not be providing VAD services at any of its facilities.
But she said some residents may wish to explore the option while under their care and they are committed to receiving any enquiries about euthanasia “in a compassionate and respectful manner”.
“Throughout [the] process of communication Catholic facilities have developed a pathway consistent with our ethics and the law as it currently stands,” she said.
“We will continue to analyse and assess these laws in practice, to ensure this remains the case.”
National FREE 24/7 Crisis Services: • Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelpline.com.au • MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78 www.mensline.org.au • Beyond Blue Support Service 1300 22 4636
Queensland Health modelling reveals number of people expected to use voluntary assisted dying laws in 2023 (By Kate McKenna, ABC News)