Queensland has just become the fifth state to pass voluntary assisted dying laws. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on Thursday night, saying: “Voluntary assisted dying is a deeply personal issue for many Queenslanders.
“This is a historic moment…This is about the choice of an individual to say how they wish to end their life with dignity and dignity is a word that I hold dear to me.
“There is dignity in work. There is dignity in the family and friends that surround you. And there should be dignity in death,” she said.
For the past week, Queensland MPs have found themselves in an emotional debate over whether or not the voluntary assisted dying laws will be passed.
On September 15, a heartbroken Palaszczuk spoke of how she regrets not being able to help her grandmother in her final days and the loss of her uncle as she insisted that her government would not be ‘tampering’ with a voluntary assisted dying bill.
The premier will now support the laws, as her experience and views have been formed by the people of Queensland.
“He (Uncle) had the best possible care in the hospital but I think he would have preferred a more dignified death,” she said, The Courier Mail reports.
“With my Nanna, my mother rang me this morning and asked when I was speaking on this bill and said can you please remember Nanna.”
“During the final time in her life, she (grandmother) rang me and said I’m in pain and I actually couldn’t go and see her because I had work, and to this day I will always regret not going and helping her during that time.
“She was crying out in pain during the last 48 hours but she lived a good life to 95,” she concluded.
In June 2019, Victoria became the first state to legalise voluntary assisted dying in Australia; with more than 130 Victorians applying to end their lives in the first six months. Since then, Western Australia and Tasmania have followed suit, as the new laws came into effect on July 1 and in the next 18 months for WA. South Australia also hopped on board and passed the bill in June.
Queenslanders now finally have peace of mind when looking out for their older loved ones.