The A-Z OF VAD: DWDQ Update: June 2023 

100 days of VAD

Well worth a look is a moving new resource, documenting the first 100 days of VAD. It features podcast interviews and a photo gallery of patients and families who’ve accessed VAD through Brisbane Health Metro North. Their stories are incredibly powerful. People share their deep personal views with honesty and humour… after all, as David Bannerman wondered, “what do you wear for an occasion like this?”

Look out for more patient and staff stories to come.

DWDQ looks forward

The new legislation is certainly in action. For DWDQ, this is a huge time of change. We’ve moved from being campaigners and lobbyists, to a new role:

  • Bringing information and resources to supporters with regular updates
  • Working with QVAD-Support and family members around specific issues
  • Providing information sessions for community groups
  • Helping open up the conversation about end of life choices
  • Gathering data on where the gaps are, or when things don’t go smoothly
  • Working towards the Review of the QLD Act – early 2025 – so we are ready with info and submissions

We are lucky to have a lively, active management committee, all volunteers. You can see who’s who on the current Committee on the HOME PAGE of our website.    

We’d like to acknowledge one recent change – our President of over 9 years, Jos Hall, has stepped down from this role after an incredible time of campaigning and planning. Many of you will have met Jos and admired her deep understanding and compassion – and her calm, unwavering commitment to improving end of life choices. Lucky for us all, Jos will remain as one of the two Vice Presidents, to help make the transition a smooth one, along with Jeanette Wiley, co Vice President. Jos has handed over to Sheila Sim, a social work clinician and manager of over 40 years’ experience – who’s very grateful for Jos’ knowledge and wisdom!

Celebrating Joan Rae

The DWDQ Sunshine Coast co-ordinator Denise Sauer attended a lovely  ceremony on 26 May at the Bob Dent Memorial in Cotton Tree Park, Maroochydore. This was a celebration of the life of Joan Rae, one of the founding members of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Queensland in the mid 1990s, a passionate campaigner and supporter of the need for a Queensland law. Denise said a few words and presented Joan’s daughter with a card and flowers on behalf of DWDQ. Denise remembered Joan remarking about the flowers at funerals and her love of bright colours, so the flowers were a vivid yellow… the colour of courage.

The A-Z of VAD

Your “frequently asked questions”: more topics in coming months

Is there a list of doctors in my area who’re trained to provide voluntary assisted dying? 

  • QLD Health does not publish a list of doctors trained and approved to be VAD providers. So far, almost 500 doctors have applied to be authorised practitioners, with about half outside of SEQ. You can encourage your own GP to become a provider. If you’re in a situation where you’re ready to make a first request for voluntary assisted dying, and your own GP is not able to help, call QVAD Support on 1800 431 371.

I live in a nursing home and want to ask for voluntary assisted dying – how do I begin?

  • Some facilities may feel uncomfortable about your request or may not want to participate, and they have every right not to be directly involved. However – and this is undeniable! – if this is your permanent home, then you have the right to ask to discuss VAD with an authorised practitioner, to make a first request, and to carry on with the process at your own pace.  Nursing homes and aged care facilities mustn’t prevent access to information and consult visits, even if they have objections.
  • The QLD law wisely creates a compromise between the rights of you, as an individual, and the beliefs of your care home. QLD Health has developed practice guidelines for homes to manage this situation: the “Private Entity” guidance.

Help us Fund

  • Information sessions for community groups on end of life choices 
  • Production and screening of a webinar so everyone has access to key VAD information

We keep going because of your support – the thumbs up messages in response to an update, and the generous donations - one-off gifts and monthly pledges – all very much appreciated.  

If you haven’t yet donated – please do. We no longer ask for annual membership fees. However, without your tax-deductible donations, we can’t continue. 

DWDQ is a registered charity - ABN 98 385 758 - all donations are tax-deductible.

To donate, CLICK HERE or go to our website home page, and click on the HELP US/DONATE button. You’ll receive an official receipt, which you can use in preparing your tax return.

Thank you in advance!

If you’d like to talk to some-one from DWDQ, please ring Jeanette on 1300 733 818.