MP’s plea to hold euthanasia vote before election
INDEPENDENT MP Sandy Bolton has urged Labor and the LNP to work together to ensure Parliament votes on new laws to legalise voluntary-assisted dying before next year's State Election.
In a speech to the House this afternoon Ms Bolton, who represents the Sunshine Coast electorate of Noosa, made a heartfelt plea to the major parties not to turn the issue into an election football.
Her speech comes after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declined to guarantee new laws would be debated this term when asked by Ms Bolton during Question Time last week.Ms Palaszczuk instead told the Parliament she did not want to influence the work of the parliamentary inquiry looking into euthanasia.
"Questions understandably are being raised as to why an assurance has not been given for this (voluntary-assisted dying laws) to be brought into Chamber as a priority this term," Ms Bolton told the House.
"As MP our focus must be those we serve, not on personal beliefs or aspirations.
"Our role includes a responsibility to bring respectfully into chamber the conversations Queenslanders wish and need to have, regardless of which side of the fence they or we sit on."
Ms Bolton said in her own electorate she had lost "13 much loved terminal residents to suicide as a result of their suffering" in just two years.
"This did not include those who flew overseas away from all that they had known and their loved ones to end their agony alone," she told the house.
"As part of ensuring the privacy and dignity of these beautiful people, I will not speak further on their trauma.
"However, a Victorian Coroner into an End of Life enquiry, exampled an 82 grandmother who used multiple items including scissors…..a 90 year old grandfather a nail gun.
"Beautiful, loved and loving human beings, without mental illness, made desperate in their suffering.
"The horror,loneliness and fear they must have felt cannot be imagined.
"I make a heartfelt plea on behalf of all those we represent to our Premier, and to our Leader of the Opposition to come together in a bipartisan approach to ensure that VAD does not become part of the next election or electioneering out of respect for Queenslanders.
"This is not about politics. This is about our people, genuine compassion for them and their needs, not ours."