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QUEENSLAND TO DEBATE VOLUNTARY ASSISTED DYING LAWS

Next week the Queensland Government will be introducing a voluntary assisted dying bill into the state parliament. This bill could see a historic change in the current legislation if it is passed in the vote in September of this year.

Currently in Queensland it is illegal to assist in euthanasia and those who do could face manslaughter charges. Prosecutions of such cases are rare in Australia but are a real possibility that individuals could face if they were to assist in euthanasia in Queensland where it is still illegal.

Victoria is currently the only state in Australia that already has voluntary assisted dying legislation in place. Western Australia and Tasmania have passed bills to legalise voluntary assisted dying however they are still implementing the legislation.

The bill will be aimed at assisting those over 18 years of age who have an eligible condition that is expected to cause death within 12 months. There will be other specific requirements within the bill that will be required to be satisfied for an individual to be eligible for voluntary assisted dying including individuals having the capacity to make the decision.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stated that she is in support of the bill following her own personal experiences with her own family. It is well known that there is the split of views in regards to this matter within both the Government and the public. The Government have affirmed that all MP’s are free to cast a conscience vote based on their own beliefs.

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