Care and compassion prevail in NSW

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has welcomed today’s historic passage of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 in the NSW parliament, extending choice to those suffering from terminal and incurable illnesses to die with dignity in the future.

NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said nurses and midwives had long supported the introduction of a thorough and compassionate law being introduced in NSW, the final state to do so.

“We commend the NSW politicians who listened, and who have shown care and compassion on this important issue,” said Mr Holmes.

“As clinical health professionals, our members support and respect patients with an incurable illness having the ability to request and consent to access voluntary assisted dying.”

NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary, Shaye Candish, added the new legislation meant individual preferences and needs of terminally ill patients would be honoured and their decision-making capacity acknowledged.

 “Following the passage of this bill today, terminally ill patients will be afforded the liberty to decide their care and treatment at the end of their life, as they should be. Importantly, their suffering will be finite,” said Ms Candish.

The new legislation will continue to ensure palliative care options are accessible. The NSWNMA confirmed it is continuing to campaign for nurse-to-patient ratios in palliative care inpatient settings to support those with a terminal illness achieving better access to high quality, well-resourced palliative care, in addition to voluntary assisted dying as it becomes accessible.

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