DWDQ Update: January 2024


DWDQ plans the year ahead

It’s amazing to remember that this time last year we were all getting used to a new reality. Voluntary assisted dying was finally available in Queensland as a legal option for the end of life. DWDQ Committee members were answering calls and emails, and listening to many heartfelt experiences as people navigated their way through accessing VAD.

A year later, we can proudly say that people making a request for VAD in Queensland are receiving compassionate, respectful care. Our work isn’t over, though. Too many people are still having trouble finding a medical practitioner who’ll support them with their VAD application. Too many people in aged care or retirement facilities are being told that their facility, which is their “home”, does not accept or participate in voluntary assisted dying. Too many people are still unaware that the legislation is now in place, and think VAD is not legal here.

Getting information out there is our focus for 2024. We’ll keep you posted about our plans for the year ahead. Meanwhile, taking advantage of the quieter months, we’ve been busy with admin, boring but necessary!

Book Corner

Here are “picks” of two recently published books which our members would like to recommend.

Jeanette Wiley, DWDQ Vice President and an avid reader, writes – 

“Our friend, Everald Compton, is an amazing nonagenarian still sharing his experiences and knowledge through writing. He has worked with Dying with Dignity Queensland for many years helping us to get the law so many of us feel is our right. Everald is proudly Australian and ready, if circumstances dictate it, to end his life by VAD. We know there are many people out there who don’t quite know what to expect should they also make Everald’s choice. So he has published a wonderful novel documenting how four Australians, from different backgrounds and beliefs, come to terms with their terminal illnesses. It is an easy to read story and will give you a clearer understanding of VAD. 

Powerful is the word to describe the ending.”

A Beautiful Sunset” is a novel about the final circumstances of life by Everald Compton and priced at $20.00.  

Your copy will be posted to you post-free. Please contact Jeanette at 07 3278 4140 or [email protected]

Pat Law writes –

“I have just read “The Last Devil to Die” by Richard Osman, a humorous murder mystery book with Osman’s story revolving around a group of “seniors” living in a luxury English retirement village. Osman brilliantly and sensitively deals with the dilemmas the subjects are faced with, the questions of euthanasia, giving each individual’s viewpoint validity and balance.  This is a perfect book for those who are in doubt about the moral and legal issues of being able to choose our own time and mode of death. It reads as a very balanced view on the subjects of ageing, death and relationships, with which so many of us are dealing. I can highly recommend Osman’s writing - and this book in particular for members of Dying with Dignity.”

For the keen readers – this book is the 4th in a series featuring a band of amateur sleuths who are senior citizens. It’s worth reading the series in order to get to know the characters. One, Elizabeth, is married to Stephen who has dementia. His story and illness feature in this book.

Next month’s update will give you information about the public information sessions we’re planning for this year.

DWDQ sends good wishes for a healthy and peaceful new year, to all our members and supporters. Thank you all for your interest and involvement.

Sheila Sim

President, DWDQ