Access in regional, rural and remote areas
People living in regional, rural and remote parts of Queensland will be able to access voluntary assisted dying.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021 (the Act) was developed with Queensland’s unique, large, decentralised population in mind. To support communities in areas where there may be fewer doctors, the Act includes a number of provisions. These include:
- enabling nurse practitioners and registered nurses to act as an administering practitioner
- supply of the substance via the Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Pharmacy Service
- the establishment of a Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Support Service to support and provide information across Queensland.
As part of implementation of voluntary assisted dying in Queensland, Queensland Health is looking to develop QVAD-Access. QVAD-Access will help people living in regional, rural, and remote parts of the state access voluntary assisted dying. It is proposed that QVAD-Access will:
- help people travel to a doctor or nurse to access voluntary assisted dying
- help a doctor or nurse travel to a person to provide voluntary assisted dying services
- provide people with an interpreter if required.
Restrictions on using telehealth
The Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) prohibits discussing suicide via a carriage service—for example, phone, telehealth, or the internet. Although voluntary assisted dying is not considered suicide under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021, Commonwealth law overrides state law.
This means some discussions about the voluntary assisted dying process must be face-to-face.
Queensland Health is committed to ensuring Queenslanders living in regional, rural, and remote areas are able to access voluntary assisted dying.