In response to reports that Cabinet may amend the VAD Bill, the Queensland Greens are calling on Labor not to cave in to an eleventh hour scare campaign. Labor are reportedly considering amendments to remove the right of terminally ill patients in religious hospitals and nursing homes to access VAD if they cannot be transferred safely.
Greens MP Michael Berkman:
“If Labor weakens their own laws, a hospital could become a prison for a terminally ill person suffering in their final days.
“The Bill will pass easily because a vast majority of Queenslanders and MPs support VAD, so Labor shouldn’t buckle under this misleading scare campaign.
“These amendments threaten the integrity of a scheme that’s been given an incredibly thorough treatment by QLRC and two parliamentary inquiries - now isn’t the time to start unpicking the Bill in ways that will affect only the most frail people at the very end of their life.
“Let’s remember that almost all religious hospitals and aged care facilities are largely publicly funded. In fact, Labor are also funding a new public hospital in Springfield to be run by a Catholic private operator.
“These amendments would give publicly funded religious institutions a veto over the choices of terminally ill patients’ wishes.