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Dying With Dignity Queensland Inc (DWDQ) is an incorporated not-for-profit organisation. It was formed on the Sunshine Coast in 1995 and was originally known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Qld Inc (VESQ). It was renamed Dying With Dignity Queensland Incorporated in 2013. After almost 30+ years of campaigning, Voluntary Assisted Dying became legal in Queensland in September, 2021.
DWDQ aims to ensure the successful and careful implementation of Queensland's Voluntary Assisted Dying Act, and continues to engage the community, MPs and others on matters important to choice at the end of life. This includes ongoing campaigning in support of Voluntary Assisted Dying and potential reviews to Queensland's laws in the future.
What is Voluntary Assisted Dying?
Voluntary Assisted Dying is an end of life option available in Queensland to residents of Australian citizenship, who are terminally ill, suffering intolerably and meet other strict criteria. Voluntary Assisted Dying allows an eligible person already dying, the right to do so safely with medical support and care.
There is strict criteria for who is able to access Voluntary Assisted Dying. These include:
- The person requesting VAD must have a terminal illness that will cause them to die within 12 months
- They must be suffering intolerably
- They must be a Queensland resident and be able to prove that they have lived in Queensland for the previous twelve months
- They must request VAD two times to two independent medical practitioners and again directly prior to the administration of the VAD substance
- The person has decision-making capacity in relation to VAD
- The person is acting voluntarily and without coercion
For the full list for eligibility criteria, click here.
Principles of Voluntary Assisted Dying
As per the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021, the principles that underpin Queensland's VAD legislation are:
(a) human life is of fundamental importance;
(b) and every person has inherent dignity and should be treated equally and with compassion and respect;
(c) and a person’s autonomy, including autonomy in relation to end of life choices, should be respected;
(d) and every person approaching the end of life should be provided with high quality care and treatment, including palliative care, to minimise the person’s suffering and maximise the person’s quality of life;
(e) and access to voluntary assisted dying and other end of life choices should be available regardless of where a person lives in Queensland;
(f) and a person should be supported in making informed decisions about end of life choices;
(g) and a person who is vulnerable should be protected from coercion and exploitation;
(h) and a person’s freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief and enjoyment of their culture should be respected.
DWDQ Committee 2022 - 2023
President: Jos Hall - Jos has been president of DWDQ for eight years. Prior to retiring, she was a registered nurse with 48 years experience
Co-Vice President: Sheila Sim, M.A., M.S W. - Sheila, now retired, was a social work clinician and Department Manager in
Scotland and Australia for over 40 years. She specialised in work with families during perinatal loss.
Secretary: Lynn Robson
Treasurer: Anyse Horman - Anyse has been DWDQ treasurer for 15 years. She has an Advanced Diploma of Business Accounting and is a retired owner and manager of small businesses.
Committee Member: Lynn Robson - Lynn has teaching and counselling qualifications and has worked with migrants and Indigenous people in FNQ. She has been a Lifeline Crisis Counsellor pre and post retirement.
Committee Member: Cynthia Workman - Cynthia has been, and continues to be, an active working member of the Bundaberg/Burnett Electorates DWDQ Team. As a retiree Cynthia has worked in various customer related positions. She enjoys her gardening, doing volunteer work at Nardoo garden, and loves spending time with her two dogs!
Committee Member: Dr. Sid Finnigan, Retired Ophthalmologist - Dr Sid Finnigan MBBS FRANZCO is a retired eye surgeon with sub specialty in ocular malignancies.
Dying with Dignity Queensland acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands and seas on which we live and work, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Dying with Dignity Queensland respects and values diverse life challenges, creating an environment that is inclusive of us all.