January 2023: Queenslanders can now access VAD
January 1st - what a momentous day for DWDQ and our supporters. This was the day that Voluntary Assisted Dying became available to Queenslanders, as a choice for the terminally ill and a pathway to a dignified death.
This has been a long road. For many, it was a reminder of those who died before they could access VAD, as well as a celebration of the efforts of all the many tireless campaigners.
The media helped spread the word. There were supportive articles in the Courier Mail, the Cairns Post, the Townsville Bulletin and segments on Channel 9 news, Channel 7 news, SBS News and ABC News, and a piece in The Australian on 31 December. Thank you to all those who so willingly shared their stories.
EARLY DAYS FOR Q-VAD
The head of the Q-VAD Implementation Taskforce, Prof. Keith McNeil, was interviewed on ABC News in late December. He said that so far 240 doctors and nurse practitioners had registered their interest, across the State. Queensland’s sheer size is a challenge. But if a patient seeking VAD can’t find a trained VAD provider locally, there is funding for clinicians to travel and meet in a face to face consult. The team are expecting 800-1000 requests for VAD in this first year, and “we’re keen to make sure that we get it right,” said Prof. McNeil.
QVAD Support Service is the first point of call for anyone who’d like to access information:
1800 431 371
Monday to Friday 8.30 am – 4.00 pm.
Email: [email protected]
Already, DWDQ has received lots of calls and emails from people asking about VAD and how they can begin discussing it. We’ve been able to point people in the right direction. If you’d like to speak with some-one from DWDQ as a first step, please give us a call on
1300 733 818.
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION?
You’ll find fantastic resources about Queensland VAD law and practice on the QLD government website. Go to https://www.qld.gov.au/health/support/voluntary-assisted-dying
The heading shows the contact details for QVAD Support.
Below this, there are 9 links to click on for a wealth of fact sheets and information.
The topics are:
- VAD explained
- Considering VAD
- Information for health and aged care services
- If you are assessed as ineligible
- Services that don’t provide VAD (but mustn’t block your access to it)
- For families and carers
- Help and Support
- More information for First Nations people, people whose principal language is not English, people with a disability, people living in regional or remote areas.
- Protecting your personal information
It can be daunting to be faced with so much material, especially while you are dealing with an illness or caring for a family member. You can call QVAD Support at any stage in the process, to talk through your options or concerns, to seek specific information, or to help with any aspect of VAD. Your doctor or nurse practitioner can also get in touch with them for advice or clarification.
The QVAD Support team are notified of all health practitioners who’re approved to provide VAD services. They don’t have a publicly available list, but their aim is to link patients up with the closest registered provider.
We hope that the process is going well and smoothly for anyone making a request for VAD, and for the workers in QVAD Support.
We’ll keep you all updated throughout this crucial first year.