CANDIDATE Q&A: Stance on voluntary assisted dying
THE NewsMail asked all candidates running in the state election for Bundaberg and Burnett what their stance is on voluntary assisted dying.
All candidates have been sent the questions. The candidates who feature below have responded.
This is the question posed to candidates:
What is your personal view on voluntary assisted dying? Does your personal opinion differ from your political stance on the issue?
BUNDABERG (candidates in ballot order)
David Batt (LNP incumbent)
The experience of watching a loved-one struggle and succumb to a terminal illness is confronting and heart wrenching.
The issue of voluntary assisted dying is one that polarised many parts of the community, with strong and sincerely held views on both sides of the argument.
My role as Bundaberg's MP is to represent the views of our community.
If I am fortunate to be re-elected to the Queensland Parliament, I will continue to represent the views of Bundaberg and I have already committed to polling the electorate once details of a bill are known.
We are still waiting for the Queensland Law Reform Commission to evaluate the current legislative proposal.
Until we get that feedback, we cannot consult with our communities.
Tom Smith (Labor)
I've made my position on voluntary assisted dying crystal clear.
Having watched a loved one suffer a slow and painful death, as many of us have, I support the introduction of VAD legislation.
Over the weekend, the Premier announced a re-elected Palaszczuk Labor Government would move to introduce these laws in February with a conscience vote of MPs.
I would vote in favour of these laws as I believe in dying with dignity as a fundamental right.
BURNETT (candidates in ballot order)
Ric Glass (independent)
Sorry guys, it is a no from me.
Work it out yourself, you don't need me to give you permission to suicide and your mates should not be helping you kill yourself.
I am a Christian and it is against every grain in my body.
My Mum died in 2005 slowly in Bundaberg Hospital and I was broken down in the desert, then I learned my Dad had died 23 hours earlier.
I went into detail and read the report, I understand it is a done deal with Labor and the paper is ready to be tabled and approved, it was on a podcast last week and Labor candidate bragging it was already passed in every other state or will be by Labor systematically.
Why torture me over what I feel is against God and I will have to answer for this at the end of my life if I say yes.
My conscience vote is no!
Stephen Bennett (LNP incumbent)
Labor has referred voluntary assisted dying reforms to the Queensland Law Reform Commission which will report back next year.
I want to see what safeguards are in the legislation and then consult with our community.
My job is to represent the community.
I have always said, when it comes time to vote on the legislation, I will canvas and survey the constituents of the Burnett electorate and vote on their behalf according to the results of the survey.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has failed to act on improving palliative care.
The LNP will focus on better palliative care as our priority.
Paul Hudson (Katter's Australian Party)
Nobody should have to suffer a painful and undignified death.
However, allowing the government to get involved in deciding who is allowed to die is a bad idea.
I was with both of my parents when they died.
They had to be given morphine so that they were not suffering pain and discomfort.
The morphine hastened their death.
However, the morphine was necessary to prevent pain and suffering.
The purpose of giving them morphine was not to kill them.
It was to alleviate pain and suffering. They died after a couple of days after being put on morphine.
This is a very different situation from the law deciding that it is OK to pump someone full of poison and kill them.
The decision as to how to allow a dignified and pain-free death is a matter that should be agreed upon between the family and the doctor.
The government should not be involved.