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Voluntary assisted dying

In November 2020 the Commission made a submission to the Queensland Law Reform Commission on a legal framework for voluntary assisted dying.

The Commission supports the development of compassionate, safe and practical legislation to enable people who have incurable medical conditions causing intolerable suffering to seek medical assistance to end their lives with dignity.

The Commission agrees that only people with decision-making capacity should be able to seek voluntary assisted dying.

The fact that mental illness can add significant complexity to the matter of assessing a person’s capacity is recognised to be a challenging issue.

Decision-making ability should be determined by considering the person’s thought processes and the emotional factors affecting their capacity. Draft legislation needs to provide appropriate safeguards around this issue.

The Commission agrees that “any voluntary assisted dying scheme in Queensland should provide that a person who is otherwise eligible to access the scheme not be rendered ineligible only because the person has a mental health condition, provided that the person has decision-making capacity”.

Read about the Law Reform Commission’s review into voluntary assisted dying.

Read the QMHC's submission.