I have terminal breast cancer. I need Voluntary Assisted Dying Laws in Queensland now.
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My name is Tanya Battel. I've battled breast cancer since 1997. It's now terminal (in my lung and abdomen). I've been on chemotherapy for 4.5 years and each type of treatment eventually stops working - I'm now on my third line of chemotherapy. Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation is an option that would bring me great peace of mind - as it would to the majority of Queenslanders facing a terminal/incurable disease, so that we can enjoy what time we have.
This week has seen the Qld Premier commit to the introduction of Voluntary Assisted Dying in Queensland in early 2021 should the ALP regain power. I'm not a fan of the world of politics but this legislation is a political issue, whether we like it or not. Religion also has a huge influence over some of the political candidates and we cannot jeopardise the right of an individual to a peaceful death because of religious influence. This is a human-right!
After 4 years of pushing for legislation, as an "independent advocate", and representing so many individuals who share the trauma of nursing their loved one through an horrendous and traumatic death, we are the voices who are finally being heard. The media coverage - the fact this has become an election issue - demonstrates just how on board the community is.
All political candidates have been canvassed in the interests of transparency so that the community, who support this legislation, know who is going to support this legislation. Many haven't bothered to respond! What has become transparent is that the LNP as a Party Policy, opposes Voluntary Assisted Dying. Our advocates have found themselves up against a brick wall when it comes to asking their LNP Member what their position on "VAD" is. One Nation, as a Party Policy, opposes Voluntary Assisted Dying. The Qld Premier has committed to allowing all her Labor Members a conscience vote and the majority support this legislation. She has committed to bringing this on in February next year should she regain power, fast-tracking the process that is currently with the Qld Law Reform Commission. The Greens also have a Party Policy that supports Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation and all of their members support Voluntary Assisted Dying. So, if this issue is as important to you, as it is to us, then it's a vote for the ALP or The Greens.
HOW TO VOTE:
Make sure that you number every box on the ballot paper, 1 through to 6 in the order of your preference (1 being your preferred candidate). How to vote cards handed out at booths by different parties mean diddly squat - that's them telling you which order they want you to vote! You decide! So a 1 against your ALP or Greens representative, and a 2 against the ALP or Greens representative (depending on who is your number 1) will see Voluntary Assisted Dying get over the line. A number of Independents are also running - make sure you ask them about their views and support on Voluntary Assisted Dying before you complete the ballot paper. A vote for the LNP, One Nation or the Katter Party will see Voluntary Assisted Dying buried forever and we've done too much work to get this to where it is today.
I face the prospect of a horrible, painful death as the cancer moves to my bones, my organs and my brain. This is what I fear more than anything else – not death - but the long, drawn out process of dying.
I nursed both my parents at the end of their lives. It was awful. It was horrific. No-one should have to suffer like that. Dying people deserve the right to choose when they have had enough.
I want the right to ask a doctor to help me have a peaceful death. Queenslanders expect more and they have waited long enough.
This legislation will most likely not come in time for me - but it will for so many others.
If you are passionate about this voluntary option for all Queenslanders, please Like/Follow my work through my Facebook page - VALE - Voluntary Assisted Life Ending.
Thank you, Tanya
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