Euthanasia - we can live without it

Eligibility - Queensland residents
Principal Petitioner:
Dr Judith McEniery
4 Wilton Court
Total Signatures - 7,473
Sponsoring Member: The Clerk of the Parliament
Posting Date: 16/8/2019
Closing Date: 14/10/2019
Tabled Date: 17/10/2019
Responded By: Hon Dr Steven Miles MP on 18/11/2019
TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland residents draws to the attention of the house the critical lack of palliative care currently in Queensland. Whether in outback communities, rural towns, or in the South-East corner, every Queenslander deserves equal access to expert health care. Instead we are failing our society’s most vulnerable by drastically underfunding palliative care especially in rural and remote areas. Consideration of legalising euthanasia whilst palliative care is not available lacks integrity.

Other concerns in consideration of euthanasia include:
- the increase of elder abuse and inheritance impatience;
- the fundamental change that euthanasia brings to the doctor-patient relationship, causing vulnerable people to fear seeking medical assistance;
- the normalisation of suicide at a time when we are desperate to reduce Queensland’s alarmingly high suicide rate;
- and the fact that the ones who need our care the most - the elderly, the disabled, the clinically depressed - are particularly vulnerable to the suggestion of euthanasia.

Your petitioners therefore request the House to:

  • ensure equal access to world class palliative care for every Queenslander, including the most vulnerable in our communities, by directing resources to fix our health system, not by starting a death system. The opposite of pain is not death – it is relief from pain, the result of expert palliative care; and
  • address the underlying causes of those desiring help to commit suicide, by properly resourcing palliative care for every Queenslander without delay.