Queensland could become the fourth state to legalize euthanasia with a voluntary assisted dying bill coming to parliament next week.
Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the proposed laws are aimed exclusively at people who are suffering or dying.
She will allow Labor MPs a vote of conscience and has indicated that she will support him after witnessing the slow and painful deaths of her grandmother and uncle last year.
“I am Catholic, I have thought long and hard about it,” Palaszczuk told reporters on Tuesday.
“I had a lot of personal experiences over the past 12 months and made my decision based on what I saw and those experiences.
“It’s a choice, and it won’t be the right choice for a lot of people, but it has to be an option for people, and far from me to make this individual choice of how a person wishes to put end of his life. “
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said he would also allow National Liberal Party MPs to vote conscientiously on the bill.
He said opposition MPs would be encouraged to study the bill and consult with their constituents before the vote.
“I’m not going to be flippant with this. I’m not going to use it as a political weapon, there is enough of it,” he told reporters.
“We will treat him with the respect he deserves, and I will insist that my whole team do the same.”
The Greens and independent MP Sandy Bolton support euthanasia, but Australia’s Katter party will oppose it.
One Nation MP Stephen Andrew plans to study the bill before making a decision.
Under the bill, patients must have an illness, disease or medical condition that is advanced, progressive and will result in death.
Their condition is to be expected to cause their death within 12 months and to cause “intolerable” suffering.
Patients should be assessed as acting voluntarily and without restraint, at least 18 years of age and residing in Queensland.
Patients will also need to make three applications over a period of at least nine days.
Healthcare professionals should tell applicants that they can change their mind at any time during the process.
Each application will be evaluated by a doctor and supervised by a second doctor.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said doctors would not be able to recommend euthanasia and would be allowed to be conscientious objectors.
Patients will be able to self-administer euthanasia drugs or have a healthcare professional do it.
The bill will be debated in September and, if passed, a system of euthanasia will be in place by May 2022.
Victoria is the only Australian state where voluntary assisted dying is active, while Western Australia and Tasmania have passed their own laws.
South Australia is also one step closer to a voluntary assisted dying scheme after the state’s upper house recently passed legislation.