June Update

The QLD Health VAD Implementation Unit are well into setting up structures and guidelines, ready for the starting date on 1 January 2023. They will soon be recruiting doctors to undertake the training that’s required.

A big thank you to everyone who responded to our April alert about the potential impact of the Commonwealth Criminal Carriage Act. Prior to the recent federal election DWDQ canvassed all the incumbent federal politicians and candidates about the problems that this Act creates. Many responded with support.  

Just to recap – the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act makes it an offence to use a “carriage service” like phone, telehealth, email etc, to “counsel, promote or provide information on suicide” - with a potential fine of $22,000. Other States have managed the problem by insisting on face-to-face consults at various stages in the process. This may work in smaller States like Victoria and NSW, but it is not suitable for large States like Queensland or Western Australia. Equity of access is vital.  

DWDQ will work with the Dying With Dignity groups in the other states, to launch a national campaign urging for an amendment to the Act.

We want all terminally ill Queenslanders to have equal access to this much longed for VAD law. No one should be excluded because they don’t have access to medical or nursing consults. This would especially impact those living in remote areas, and particularly First Nations peoples. We can’t expect terminally ill people to make a long and stressful journey to see a city doctor. We want to start 2023 with a group of doctors trained and ready, right across the State.  

Keep checking out our website and social media for news, information, and podcasts. Your thoughts and feedback are welcome! Please feel free to contact Sheila Sim at [email protected] or by replying to this email.

Dying with Dignity Queensland