Voluntary Assisted Dying Position Statement
St Andrew’s Toowoomba Hospital (SATH) does not provide services related to voluntary assisted dying. Therefore, SATH is considered a Non-Participating Entity.
After much thought and consideration, St Andrew’s Toowoomba Hospital is staying true to our values and beliefs and will therefore not participate in voluntary assisted dying, becoming a Non-Participating Entity under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021.
Our values of respect, dignity, courtesy, fairness and honesty means that we care for all patients through all of their journey. We walk with our patients and their families through to the end-of-life, providing comfort and dignity through our palliative care services, supported by our chaplaincy to meet the needs of each individual we care for.
Based on the hospital’s values, beliefs and our affiliation with the Presbyterian Church of Queensland, SATH welcomes all patients and team members to our services, respecting their views and beliefs. We will continue to promote and provide health care consistent with our organisation’s values and be guided by the SATH Constitution.
If a patient or their family initiates such a discussion in relation to voluntary assisted dying, we will respond to it openly and sensitively while making clear we will not participate in or provide these interventions. We will however refer the patient for information in relation to voluntary assisted dying. We will ensure that trained staff are available to engage in such discussions and that processes are in place to respond to the results of these discussions.
We help the people in our care to die as comfortably as possible and with dignity, however do not assist people to end their own lives. We have a commitment to excellence in end-of-life care, demonstrated through our palliative care and palliative support services. We believe that best practice, comprehensive and compassionate end-of-life care that alleviates pain and other symptoms should be provided to all in need. Our experience demonstrates that with the provision of high-quality pain management, significant discomfort at the time of death is rare.
We work collaboratively in providing high-quality end-of-life services to ensure that we are always able to provide evidence based, compassionate end-of-life care, which is respectful of the inherent dignity of every human life.