Phyllis Wagner is organising Dying with Dignity's a meeting at Take The Plunge cafe in preparation for the official launch of the Parliamentary inquiry into voluntary assisted dying.
Phyllis Wagner is organising Dying with Dignity's a meeting at Take The Plunge cafe in preparation for the official launch of the Parliamentary inquiry into voluntary assisted dying. Mike Knott BUN020418DIGNITY1

Preemptive strike as inquiry launch draws near

IT'S crunch time for voluntary assisted dying activists, compiling as many letters and stories as possible in the lead up to a parliamentary inquiry in to the controversial subject.

Leading the charge for Dying with Dignity Wide Bay Phyllis Wagner said it was vital, now more than ever, for supporters to remain active in their hard work to change legislation for terminally ill Queenslanders.

"We're now waiting for the day that they say the inquiry is officially opened and then we can send lots of letters from people who have stories, to try to let the parliamentarians know how serious the people are," she said.

"It's exciting because at first we were told that it wasn't going to be even looked at for a couple of years, but now ... it kind of puts us into high gear because we have a lot of people who are every excited."

She said the inquiry would close in November this year, and until the official opening is announced, DWD don't know what time-frame it has to work with.

"The later they do it, the faster we've got to get everything in, so I'm trying to get more people notified as to what is going on," she said.

"We think this is the time for MPs to stand up and do as their constitutions would like them to."

In preparation for the big announcement, Ms Wagner is holding a free meeting for new and existing supporters to update them on the latest information and how to be ready for the official launch day.

She said all were invited to join her at Take the Plunge cafe in Bundaberg between 10.30am and 11.30am on January 11.

MPs Aaron Harper, Mark McArdle, Michael Berkman, Martin Hunt, Barry O'Rourke and Joan Pease make up the Parliamentary commitee that will investigate the desirability of supporting voluntary assisted dying, which includes exploring provisions for it being legislated in Queensland and any necessary safeguards to protect vulnerable persons.

The aim of Dying with Dignity Queensland is to allow terminally ill Queensland residents over the age of 18, who are mentally competent and have explored all other treatment options, access to medical assistance to end their life should they choose to do so.

Appropriate checks and reviews must be undertaken before voluntary assisted dying can commence, including being diagnosed as terminally ill by two doctors and be deemed to have intolerable and unresolvable suffering.