More than 55 opinions of mostly private citizens have been received so far in response to the Queensland Government’s proposed Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 ahead of tomorrow’s (2 July) submission deadline.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk introduced the proposed Bill in Parliament on 25 May and said it would be subject to scrutiny by the parliamentary Health and Environment Committee. Through further public consultation, the committee would make recommendations in mid-August this year.
“The path to this day has been long and considered, and paved with reverence and respect,” Ms Palaszczuk said when introducing the Bill. “Many Queenslanders who have watched a loved one suffer feel passionately that there must be dignified options available to everyone.
“This Bill delivers on an important election commitment I made to the people of Queensland. It provides a chain of safeguards to ensure only those at the end of life can make these choices, and then only those capable of making that choice for themselves.
“At its heart this reform is about love and the dignity we all share and owe to each other. I urge all Queenslanders to ensure the utmost respect for other people and other points of view.
“When the time comes, Government MPs will vote according to their conscience.”
The Government also invited public submissions addressing any aspect of the Bill, stressing it was important they only focus on aspects of the Bill and not the broader policy debate, as those issues had already been canvassed publicly during a previous inquiry.
Submissions on the draft Bill close at 9am tomorrow 2 July.
The majority of the 56 submissions published to date include personal accounts and experiences, including from members of the health profession, regarding the traumas faced by people confronting and considering end-of-life options.
The submissions published so far are available online.
The parliamentary committee is also scheduled to hold public hearings on the Bill in Townsville (12 July), Rockhampton (13 July) and Brisbane (14-16 July). Its report is to be published after it has been tabled in Parliament, which is currently scheduled for Friday 20 August.
Make a submission before tomorrow’s deadline.