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Source: Go Gentle Australia
Exciting news. Queensland has become the fifth Australian state to legalise voluntary assisted dying - and the third this year!
Parliament voted this evening to pass the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 into law without amendment, 61 votes to 30.
The law now heads to the Governor for royal assent. It will come into effect in Jan 2023.
- Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, her deputy Steven Miles and parliamentary staff for their leadership and stewardship of the Bill.
- Parliamentary Health Committee chair Aaron Harper and fellow members for their tireless work and compassion.
- Independent MP Sandy Bolton and the Greens for their longstanding crossbench advocacy.
- All MPs who voted Yes for the rights of the terminally ill.
Most importantly, we pay tribute to the community advocates who campaigned for this law, sometimes over decades.
- Indefatigable local campaigners Tanya Battel and her Gang of Four (Bev Young, Lyn Bailey, Therese McLean), Fiona Jacobs and her group Nurses Supporting VAD, Jann Stuckey, Dr Will Cairns, Dr Gracelyn Smallwood, Marj Lawrence, Moya Jackson, Phil Browne, John Ancliffe, Kaela Gray, Susan Reilly, Everald Compton and Penny Tovey.
- Dying with Dignity Queensland, led by Jos Hall, Jeannette Wiley and Jen Blake, which, together with Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice and the Clem Jones Group, formed the My Life My Choice alliance.
-The QLD4VAD alliance, showcasing a broad coalition of support from unions, doctors, nurses, first responders, lawyers and other groups.
- Queensland’s union movement, which was central to the success of the campaign. Special thanks to Stu Traill of the ETU, who took on the VAD cause in memory of Peter 'Simmo' Simpson, former ETU secretary and VAD advocate, who died from melanoma last year.
- Professors Ben White and Lindy Willmott from the Australian Centre for Health Law Research for their expert forensic advice and advocacy.
And every supporter and advocate, past and present, who bravely shared their stories, contacted MPs, donated funds and volunteered their precious time.
This historic moment particularly honours those who are no longer with us, but whose courageous advocacy was instrumental in changing MPs’ hearts and minds.
We congratulate everyone for the respect shown on all sides of the debate and the reliance on evidence to formulate public policy.
Go Gentle Australia's time spent speaking with MPs, our leadership of the QLD4VAD Alliance, a dedicated advertising and social media campaign and our evidence-based resources, including the Better Off Dead podcast, were central to the success.
But we won't rest until all of us have access to compassionate and humane choice at the end of life.
A VAD bill is soon to be tabled in the NSW parliament and a bill is before the Australian parliament to give back to the Northern Territory the right to pass VAD laws.
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