There’s room for compassion and dignity in NSW
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has joined a growing number of health and community organisations to support the introduction of voluntary assisted dying legislation in NSW.
In joining the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Alliance, NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said nurses and midwives were encouraging all parliamentarians to choose compassion over politics and support the law reform, as debate is due to start in the Lower House this week.
“For many years, our Association has supported a law being introduced to enable choice for people with a terminal illness and prevent them from suffering needlessly,” said Mr Holmes.
“As health professionals, our members have a duty of care to all patients and the majority agree that people with an incurable sickness should be afforded the choice to die with dignity.
“In a recent survey of almost 4,000 members, 86% supported voluntary assisted dying law reform in NSW, while 84% indicated they had professional experience providing care to terminally ill patients, and over half of those (53%) said they had been asked to help end a patients’ life.
“We respect that voluntary assisted dying is a confronting topic for some and we’ve committed to support members who exercise their objection professionally, and this has been accommodated in the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021,” Mr Holmes said.
“This new legislation ensures people can access palliative care options and we’ll continue to insist appropriate resourcing, including access to suitably qualified nurses. We acknowledge Nurse Practitioners and registered nurses who choose to participate in voluntary assisted dying must be provided with education and protection for their work.
“On behalf of our members, we’ll continue to advocate for choice and compassion in relation to this important legislative reform.”