Labor MP warns party of Qld euthanasia bill’s ‘unintended consequences’

Labor MP warns party of Qld euthanasia bill’s ‘unintended consequences’

6th June 2021 Off By adpublisher

A Queensland Labor MP has spoken publicly against his government’s voluntary assisted dying laws, which are set to go to a conscience vote later this year, telling the party’s state conference the laws would have “serious unintended consequences”.

During an emotional debate on Sunday, the member for Logan, Linus Power, who was the only speaker against a resolution urging MPs to support the laws, asked party members not to put pressure on representatives in Parliament.

Under the proposed laws, voluntary assisted dying will only be available to adults with less than a year to live. Credit:Jason South

Day two of the conference, held at the Brisbane Convention Centre, led to lively scenes on a number of other occasions, as ministers reiterated that the Palaszczuk government had no plans to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 outside a national approach.

Debates around resolutions to show the party’s support for future gas projects, which was voted down, and a low-carbon-economy plan, which passed, were some of the most vocal, with one speaker asking if the party had “learned nothing from the 2019 federal election”.

Taking the microphone to speak on the voluntary assisted dying resolution, Mr Power mentioned his father’s “painful and difficult” experience, which had informed his own “reservations” about the laws.

He said many of those accessing the Victorian scheme were doing so for a number of reasons beyond pain, such as a sense of control or allowing their family to remember them before their health deteriorated, which was not the aim of the party’s investigation of the issue.

“Instead, the serious unintended consequences will be worse for terminally ill Queenslanders,” he said.

Under the proposed laws, expected to come before Parliament in September, assisted dying will only be available to adults diagnosed with an advanced, progressive condition that is causing intolerable suffering and gives them less than 12 months to live.

Introducing the resolution on Sunday following a video showing former Electrical Trades Union boss Peter Simpson talking about the need for the laws prior to his death from melanoma last year, union member Stuart Traill had to compose himself before a sea of conference delegates with signs of support.