Information for health professionals
To ensure high quality and safe care, the law includes minimum requirements for practitioners wishing to perform a role under the scheme (as either coordinating practitioner, consulting practitioner or administering practitioner).
Those not meeting the minimum qualification and training requirements required under the law won’t be eligible to act in these roles.
Training will be undertaken to ensure practitioners can appropriately assess whether or not a person meets the eligibility criteria for voluntary assisted dying and to identify potential abuse or coercion risk factors.
Eligibility requirements will ensure that practitioners have the appropriate skills and experience while balancing the need to ensure there are no barriers for people wishing to access voluntary assisted dying, particularly those in rural, regional and remote areas.
The QLRC considered that practitioners meeting the minimum qualification requirements set out in the law will typically have spent many years in practice, gaining experience in end of life care.
The law recognises that registered health practitioners should be able to refuse to participate in the voluntary assisted dying process if it is against their values or beliefs.
It balances their rights of practitioners not to participate against the rights of a person to make informed decisions about their end of life choices.
Under the law, a registered health practitioner who receives a request and has a conscientious objection to voluntary assisted dying must:
- immediately inform the person of their refusal and the reason for their refusal
- inform the person that other health practitioners, health service providers or services may be able to assist them
- provide the person with:
- information about a health practitioner, health service provider or service who, in the practitioner’s belief, is likely to be able to provide the requested assistance, or
- the details of the official Statewide Care Navigator Service.
Speech pathologists have similar rights and responsibilities under the law. This is because they may have a role facilitating communication between a health practitioner and a person seeking access to voluntary assisted dying (e.g. helping a patient communicate a request).