Is Queensland ready for Voluntary Assisted Dying?

30 August 2021

Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation is expected to be introduced into Queensland Parliament in September 2021 

What do UQ experts have to say? 

Professor Brenda Gannon, our international expert in the field of the Health Economics of Ageing, comments that very little academic research has been undertaken on the costs of Voluntary Assisted Dying. But she did say that end-of-life care is very expensive.

“If you look at the cost of health care across your life, you spend the most in the last years of your life,” she said.

“About 20 per cent of lifetime health care expenditure is in the last year of life, and up to 40 per cent of that is in the last month.

“People surveyed at end of life said they’re not that concerned about the cost of their end of life care but more concerned about their quality of life and their family’s burden, which can be quite costly.”

Gannon described this as a very tricky area and issued a word of caution.

“What I would warn about is not to have a supplier-induced demand situation,” she said.

“What I mean by that is that by increasing the facilities available to do this, we don’t want there to be increased demand for VAD just because it’s there.”

The Queensland Government is promising an additional $170 million over five years to bolster the state's palliative care services with the introduction of Voluntary Assisted Dying.

Palliative Care Queensland has put forward a $241 million-a-year solution to fund end-of-life care.

Read the full article in Contact, the UQ Alumni magazine