Skip links and keyboard navigation

Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board (the Review Board) is an independent oversight body. Its role is to oversee, monitor and report on the operation of voluntary assisted dying in Queensland.

The Review Board provides an important safeguard for Queenslanders by reviewing each completed voluntary assisted dying case to ensure the process complied with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021 (the Act). It supports the safe, practical and transparent operation of voluntary assisted dying in Queensland.

The Review Board also has additional functions, including:

  • referring any identified issues to relevant entities (such as the Health Ombudsman or the Queensland Police Service)
  • keeping government informed about the operation of the Act, through annual and other reports
  • researching and making strategic recommendations to improve voluntary assisted dying in Queensland.

The Review Board cannot:

  • approve a person as eligible for voluntary assisted dying (it reviews completed cases retrospectively)
  • overrule voluntary assisted dying eligibility assessments
  • investigate individual complaints or breaches of the Act.

The Office of the Review Board provides secretariat and strategic support to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board. It also manages the Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board Information Management System (QVAD Review Board IMS).

Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board Information Management System (IMS)

QVAD Review Board IMS is the online platform for completing and submitting forms to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board as required by the Act.

It's also where practitioners can submit an application to become an authorised voluntary assisted dying practitioner.

QVAD Review Board IMS is not a case management system or medical record, and is not integrated with other clinical systems.

Members

Nine members were appointed to the Review Board by the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services on 24 October 2022.

Board member profiles

Chairperson: Associate Professor Helen Irving

Associate Professor Helen Irving is nationally and internationally recognised for her contributions in the fields of paediatric and adolescent oncology, telemedicine, paediatric palliative care and medical ethics. She is Clinical Lead of the Queensland Paediatric Palliative Care Haematology and Oncology Network and established the Centre for Children’s Health Ethics and Law. Professor Irving holds a number of board and committee roles including Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology Oncology Group; Scientific Advisory Committee Member, International Society Paediatric Oncology; member of Palliative Care Australia and Palliative Care Queensland; and member of the Paediatric Palliative Care Australia and New Zealand.

Deputy Chairperson: Professor Eleanor Milligan

Professor Eleanor Milligan has held state and national leadership roles in healthcare ethics, practitioner regulation, organisational governance and culture, research ethics, medical education and accreditation. Professor Milligan is currently a Professor of Ethics and Professional Practice, at Griffith University School of Medicine. Previous roles include Deputy Dean of Clinical Education at Griffith University and Clinical Ethicist, Queensland Health. She is a recent appointee to the National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Health Ethics Committee.

Dr Jennifer Brown is a general physician with a particular interest in perioperative medicine, end-of-life decision making and palliative care. Dr Brown is currently in private practice as a consultant at the Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital. Prior to this, Dr Brown was the Chief of Medical Staff for Mater Health Services and a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine with The University of Queensland. She has held a range of board and committee roles including the Queensland State Committee for the Royal Australian College of Physicians.

Dr John (Will) Cairns OAM is a Consultant Emeritus with the Townsville University Hospital. He recently retired from clinical practice as a palliative medicine consultant. Dr Cairns has worked extensively in palliative care having held recent positions as the Director of Townsville Palliative Care Service. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Ms Donisha Duff has an extensive career in health, particularly in Indigenous health and currently has senior leadership roles at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health including as Chief Operating Officer, Strategic Policy Advisor and General Manager of Regional Services. Ms Duff has held a range of board positions and is the current Chairperson of Stars Foundation Ltd.

Dr Bavahuna (Bav) Manoharan is a general medical practitioner with expertise in medicine. Dr Manoharan is currently the Clinical Lead with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Unit, Queensland Health. Dr Manoharan has held executive and non-executive roles in health care organisations and key leadership roles including as Vice President of the Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMAQ). Dr Manoharan is a Certified Health Informatician of Australia and has completed a Master of Public Health in addition to his Medical degree and Bachelor of Science.

Professor Lisa Nissen is an experienced pharmacy practitioner, researcher and educator having worked in hospital and community pharmacies in both metropolitan and rural areas in Australia. Professor Nissen has a specific clinical interest in pain management and palliative care, having worked as a specialist pharmacist in oncology and palliative care before undertaking her PhD with the Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Mr Geoff Rowe has had a career in human services for over 40 years including 15 years in senior and executive positions. Mr Rowe is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia. Prior to his current role, Mr Rowe held senior roles with the Endeavour Foundation, the Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland and the Queensland Government.

Professor Lindy Willmott is a full-time legal academic who has worked in the field of regulation of end-of-life decision making for more than two decades. Over the past decade Professor Willmott has had a research focus at QUT during which time she was the Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research and now co-leads the End of Life Research Program within the Centre. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws (First class honours), Master of Laws (Upper second-class honours) and a PhD.

Last updated: 2 November 2022