NSWNMA welcomes bill on assisted dying
The Association welcomed the recent introduction of a draft bill to the NSW parliament by Independent MP Alex Greenwich, which aims to give those suffering from terminal and incurable illnesses the ability to die with dignity.
NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said nurses and midwives had expressed support for a compassionate law to be introduced in NSW for many years.
“Nurses and midwives have a duty of care to patients, and we acknowledge that people with a terminal or incurable illness should have the right to choice at the end of their life,” he said.
“We understand not everyone agrees with voluntary assisted dying, but we will support members who exercise their conscientious objection, and this has been accommodated in the draft bill.
“This legislation ensures everyone has access to palliative care options and we will continue to demand proper resourcing, including the availability of suitably qualified nurses and midwives. Nurse practitioners and registered nurses who choose to participate in voluntary assisted dying must be provided with education and protection for their work.”
In a recent NSWNMA survey of members (with 2561 respondents), over 83 per cent indicated having professional experience in providing care to adults diagnosed with a terminal illness. Over half of those respondents said they had been asked by a terminally ill patient for assistance to end their life.
The survey also revealed almost 87 per cent of respondents supported the introduction of legislation similar to laws passed in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland.