SCCQ’s Response to Voluntary Assisted Dying

26 October 2022

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021 was passed in Queensland in September 2021 and will be available to eligible Queenslanders from 1 January 2023.

This means that a person in the late stages of advanced disease can choose to take a lethal substance prescribed by a doctor that will bring about their death. Under the law, only people who meet certain conditions will be eligible and only Queensland Health authorised healthcare workers or medical practitioners can discuss or assist Voluntary Assisted Dying in Queensland.

As a Catholic aged care organisation, Southern Cross Care Queensland believes in the sanctity of human life, and this informs all of our responses to those who are sick and vulnerable. We were founded on the central principle of valuing and respecting human life, and we hold a view that every life is sacred.

Our tradition of care places a special emphasis on service to those who have a life-limiting illness and nearing the end of their life. Our care for people who are sick, frail, aged or disabled is founded on love and respect for the inherent dignity of every person.

At Southern Cross Care Queensland, we take a holistic approach to care that is considerate to a person’s physical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual needs. We believe that palliative care and end-of-life care are the best options to allow freedom of choice, comfort, dignity and respect as a person nears the end of life.

Voluntary Assisted Dying is not part of our approach to end-of-life care and will not be offered by us at any of our homes or facilities. While we will not engage in any activity where the primary purpose or intention is to cause the death of a person, we are committed to providing quality care and service with compassion and dignity to every person in our care.

We understand people may have deeply personal views about Voluntary Assisted Dying, and that they will have different views, beliefs and ways in which they practice and reflect on life, death, religion and spirituality.  People may wish to talk with their doctor, religious minister or spiritual adviser and family and loved ones.

Our residents, clients and staff can also talk with the residential, retirement living or home care manager, or a member of our Pastoral Care Team. They will listen, uphold a person’s privacy and confidentiality and have conversations without judgement or prejudice, respecting the right for people to have different views.

Valuing and respecting human life and the dignity of every person remains at the heart of everything we do – it always has.

Please view our Position Statement – Voluntary Assisted Dying

Please view our video – Our ethic of care

Our vision is to grow communities where best lives are lived.

Our mission is to provide a quality of care and accommodation to meet the needs of all who place their trust in us.

Our values are Service. Courage. Compassion.