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  • Writer's pictureLynchLaw

Voluntary Assisted Dying

On 16 September 2021, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021 (the “Act”) was passed. From 1 January 2023, voluntary assisted dying will be available in Queensland.

Voluntary assisted dying in Queensland gives eligible people diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, who are suffering intolerably and dying, an additional end-of-life choice by allowing them to choose the timing and circumstances of their death. There are eight principles which underpin the Act:

1. Value of human life;

2. Dignity;

3. Autonomy;

4. High quality care and treatment;

5. Accessibility;

6. Informed decision-making;

7. Protecting those who are vulnerable; and

8. Respect for diversity.

The process of voluntary assisted dying is broken down into three phases. Each phase has specific steps. A person requesting access to voluntary dying is able to stop the process at any time. The process is overseen by the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board. The Board reviews each request for voluntary assisted dying to ensure compliance with the process and legislation.

Phase 1 – Request and assessment;

Phase 2 – Administration of the voluntary assisted drying substance;

Phase 3 – After the person dies.

A person seeking access to voluntary assisted dying must meet the strict eligibility criteria:

• be diagnosed with a disease, illness or medical condition that:

» is advanced, progressive and will cause death

» is expected to cause death within 12 months

» is causing suffering that the person considers to be intolerable

• have decision-making capacity in relation to voluntary assisted dying

• be acting voluntarily and without coercion

• be at least 18 years of age

• be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or have been ordinarily resident in Australia for at least three years immediately before making their first request (or granted an Australian residency exemption by Queensland Health)

• have been ordinarily resident in Queensland for at least 12 months immediately before the person makes the first request (or granted an Australian residency exemption by Queensland Health)

More information about the voluntary assisted dying process can be found here:

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