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No further delay for euthanasia laws as blueprint is finalised

Politics

The Queensland Law Reform Commission appears on track to deliver draft voluntary assisted dying laws next month.

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A spokesman for the commission, which in February highlighted the challenge of meeting a May 10 deadline, said it still hoped to finish the work on time.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman is required to table the report in parliament within 14 sitting days, and has set an implementation deadline of August 2022. She has foreshadowed further consultation.

To help Queenslanders understand the issues at stake, the commission plans to also release a summary report, in addition to the lengthy and complex main report and draft legislation.

Both sides in the debate have been quietly lobbying MPs, including party leaders, and there has also been renewed interest in palliative care resourcing. It became an election issue last year after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk vowed to bring the laws forward and spoke of her own considerations after the death of her nanna.

Cherish Life Queensland, which has met with MPs including Opposition leader David Crisafulli, is running a petition calling for more funding for palliative care and a delay to the laws being introduced in parliament. The petition currently has 7,520 signatures and will end the day before the commission is due to report to Fentiman.

The major parties will be afford MPs a conscience vote on the laws, and while Palaszczuk has been advocating for change, Crisafulli has yet to take a personal position.

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