Advocacy group pushes Ipswich MPs to support assisted dying
QUEENSLAND'S peak euthanasia advocacy group will attempt to get Ipswich's politicians on side as it pushes assisted dying onto the state's agenda.
Dying with Dignity Queensland will survey MPs, including the five Labor politicians in the Ipswich region, about their support for voluntary assisted dying.
Jeanette Wiley, a Dying with Dignity Queensland committee member, hopes 2018 will be the time voluntary euthanasia is put on the agenda.
"We're hoping this year we can change the government's idea, based on the fact it got through in Victoria," she said.
The group believes the public does support assisted dying laws, but the backing in the halls of parliament is harder to gauge.
Ms Wiley said previous surveys by the group had drawn a poor or non-committal response from politicians.
"I think they're slowly coming around, and it has been slow," she said.
"The moment you mention euthanasia, they all freeze."
For about half-a-century, the advocacy group has been attempting to introduce state laws relating to assisted dying.
Ms Wiley said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk needed to reveal her position on the social issue.
"If she came out in favour, a lot of these pollies who are sitting on the fence might show some guts," she said.
Similar legislation in Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales was defeated by one vote.
"Last year was our biggest push because 80 per cent of the public wants this law to go through," Ms Wiley said.
"I don't believe it should be a contentious issue.
"My argument has always been, we voted you (politicians) to represent us.
"If 80 per cent of the population is in favour of this, shouldn't you be reflecting what the people want?"