TheVoluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 16 September 2021. The Act sets out a framework for a voluntary assisted dying scheme in Queensland.
The new law was passed following debate and a historic conscience vote by Members of Parliament on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021.
The Bill, was introduced into the Queensland Parliament on 25 May 2021. It was based on recommendations of the Queensland Law Reform Commission’s (QLRC) report: A legal framework for voluntary assisted dying and a draft Bill prepared for parliamentary consideration.
Queensland Law Reform Commission draft legislation
In late 2020, the QLRC released a 176-page consultation paper with 50 questions for members of the public and organisations to make submissions on. The QLRC received 126 submissions from a range of respondents. It considered work previously undertaken by the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee with stakeholders and the community on voluntary assisted dying. The former parliamentary committee conducted 34 public and private hearings and briefings, heard evidence from 502 invited witnesses and accepted 4,719 written submissions during its inquiry.
The QLRC’s draft legislation aimed to provide Queensland with a “compassionate, safe and practical” law. The Bill was referred to the Health and Environment Parliamentary Committee (committee) for consideration. Extensive consultation was undertaken on the draft legislation during a 12-week inquiry by the Parliamentary Committee.
The committee’s report was tabled on Friday 20 August 2021, recommending the Bill be passed. The committee’s report can be accessed here.
With legislation in place, work is being progressed under the guidance of an implementation taskforce so a voluntary assisted dying scheme will be available from 1 January 2023.