Advocates eye national holdouts after historic Qld euthanasia vote

After Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, the Queensland approach is broader. But the practice, also known as voluntary aid in dying, will always be reserved for adults with advanced and progressive disease causing intolerable suffering.


They will need to have decision-making capacity, receive two assessments by separate physicians, and make three separate requests over a nine-day period.

Supported by extensive work by the state law reform commission, it will extend eligibility to those who are 12 months old, starting from the six month window in other states. Doctors will also be able to raise issues with patients.

While individual health practitioners may have objected under other public schemes, private faith-based institutions are also distinguished in Queensland law: they will also be able to refuse to participate but must not impede access to the public. ‘a person through outpatient health care. workers or a transfer.

Even still, the supporters would like it to go further. Perron believes there should be no need for a prognosis at the time of death, only a diagnosis of terminal illness.

“I don’t think 10 years ago Queensland was ready for these laws,” she said during her contribution to two days of personal and emotional speeches during debate on the bill this week. before a rare vote of conscience of the big party.

Some in the state still weren’t ready, others probably never will.

Deputy LNP opposition leader and shadow attorney general David Janetzki, who did not support the bill, introduced 54 amendments, including allowing faith-based establishments to ban euthanasia on their premises, which failed .

Katter’s Australian party – whose three MPs voted against the bill – have tried to delay debate until funding for palliative care is increased. This motion was rejected by 53 votes to 37.


Given the support of the Prime Minister and many high-ranking members of the government, as well as the successful campaign to decriminalize abortion in 2017, supporters were hopeful but still unsure of what would happen when the vote began. .

That the bill which finally passed through the 93 seats of Parliament intact, with a vast majority (61 votes to 30) and during its first presentation (where other jurisdictions had debates, or unsuccessful attempts, in the past) has been well received by supporters to put it mildly.

Catholic Health Australia, which represents groups providing one in five hospital beds and elderly care in the state, said the bill puts the sites in a “heinous and extraordinary position”.

Pro-life group Cherish Life said MPs supporting the bill had “abdicated their responsibility to protect the most vulnerable.”

Two prominent end-of-life researchers – QUT professors Ben White and Lindy Willmott – whose work has informed euthanasia laws in all other states, said Mr Janetzki’s amendments would have made the law already balanced “Heavy, inconsistent and impractical”.

Despite the long campaign, the end result still produced surprising results for Muir, especially in the Gold Coast region.

More than expected, six of the 10 LNP members who backed the bill hold electorates in the region, in which LNP leader David Crisafulli – who voted against – is also based.

Muir said the region’s “very influential” self-funded retiree base, many of whom are LNP voters, had told him they wanted the laws passed. He also believes the Labor campaign in some other LNP core seats changing hands in the October election could have come down to voters looking for the program.

Outside Queensland, the New South Wales Parliament could see a debate on the issue again as early as next month as part of a bill being prepared by Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich.


Despite longstanding opposition to voluntary euthanasia, there are even signs of a shift in elements of the Australian Medical Association branch of the state. But Liberal Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Labor Party leader Chris Minns personally oppose the laws.

While Berejiklian’s preference is to focus on the captivating challenge of the COVID-19 state, Muir said there was precedent for her to “step up” and support reform as part of her legacy. It came from the Liberal Premiers of Tasmania and South Australia who supported non-government bills.

Beyond that, attention also turns to ACT and NT. There, the political will exists but is blocked by a bill introduced by outgoing federal deputy Kevin Andrews to overturn the latter’s first attempt the same year.

Despite the federal government’s lack of appetite for the necessary repeal or the drafting of new legislation, Perron hopes the tide is turning.

“Competitive federalism works, and that is exactly what it is,” he says. “States learn from each other and try to be the best.”

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