DWDQ July Update 2023


Held on 8 August every year, this is Australia’s biggest conversation about death, dying and grieving.

Sharing your thoughts with your family, friends and workmates can help you make clear plans for your future and a good death. You can ease the grief for the people you are close to, by making plans in advance and talking to them about your wishes. Dying to Know Day is a genuine community movement that helps us all feel more comfortable about dying, talking about it and taking the lead in planning for the future.

Get inspiration, guides and resources, and see all Queensland events on their website.

You can sign up to join or host an event – morning tea, a talk about wills or superannuation, an information stall, a dinner - anything that starts the conversation.    

You can meet Jos and Lynn from DWDQ at the Dying to Know Day event at Bribie Island RSL on Thursday August 10 from 9.15. 

Bookings are essential: RSVP to ph.07 3482 0800 or [email protected]

The first 100 days of VAD: Exhibition

Last month we mentioned this great initiative from Queensland Health Metro South and the QUT Design Lab. It’s a series of photographs and podcasts about families’ lived experiences of voluntary assisted dying in Queensland – the first 100 days.  

If you live in SEQ, you can visit the project on Level 1 Atrium, RBWH. The Exhibition will open officially from 10.30 till 2.00 on Friday 28 July in the Education Centre, RBWH.

From 31 July to 4 August it will be on Level 1 Atrium, RBWH.

This is a unique and powerful way to capture some of the experiences in Queensland so far.

The A to Z of VAD

Where can I choose to take the voluntary assisted dying substance?

Once you have been assessed as eligible for voluntary assisted dying, you will receive the VAD substance in a secure locked box. The pharmacist will give you clear instructions and a guide on how to self-administer. The time and place that you take this is your choice. For some people, just having access to the substance is a huge relief. You may name a day and time, or have a turning point in your mind – when it becomes hard to swallow, or when the pain can’t be well managed any longer. If you are at home, you can begin the process of administration, or request your co-ordinating practitioner to help you with this.

But the course of your illness may be unpredictable.  You may be admitted to a public or private hospital because of your symptoms. As long as you’ve been assessed as eligible and you are still in Queensland, it’s still possible to carry out your plans for voluntary assisted dying… but it may take some setting up and discussion with the medical team. Your co-ordinating practitioner can provide a consult while you’re an inpatient and help liaise with your medical team.  Especially in these early days for VAD in Queensland, this may be the first time the facility has ever had to deal with such a request. It will help to talk openly about your plans, to check if there is a suitable room where you can have privacy, and to plan who you would like to be with you, and how you can include any cultural or spiritual beliefs. Ask the medical and nursing teams if they have any concerns. The facility staff can call QVAD Support and Pharmacy for advice, on 1800 431 371.

You must have a responsible contact person at hand, who knows what to do after your death.

The key here is planning, and talking the situation through with everyone involved in your care, your family and friends. You’ll find that you get clear information at every step of the way, and you can always call QVAD with any questions. 

Lastly I’d like to acknowledge the work of our Treasurer Anyse Horman. Anyse is the longest serving member of our Committee and has been involved with DWDQ for the past 18 years. She resigned as Treasurer this month but will stay on as Assistant Treasure. We welcome Paula Payne to her new role as Treasurer.   We have a wealth of DWDQ history and knowledge in the members of our Committee and I’m so glad of this amazing mix of skills.  

Sheila Sim

President, Dying with Dignity Queensland

Dying with Dignity Queensland