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The Coronial inquiry in Brisbane is currently delving into the case of an elderly man who consumed an oral substance intended for his terminally ill wife under Queensland’s voluntary assisted dying (VAD) process. As part of the VAD protocol, the man, acting as the contact person, was entrusted with receiving, storing, and preparing the substance for his wife’s end-of-life use.

Tragically, the man found himself in a heartbreaking situation when his wife passed away before being able to ingest the prescribed substance. Overwhelmed by grief and perhaps a sense of duty, he decided to take the substance himself. The daughter of the couple testified during the inquiry, revealing that her father diligently followed the VAD process but struggled emotionally following his wife’s demise.

The registered nurse involved in the VAD process emphasized the critical importance of clear guidelines and safety measures in handling such substances. Highlighting the need for stringent protocols to ensure the proper recovery and disposal of unused VAD substances, the nurse underscored the necessity of minimizing the risk of unauthorized use.

The ongoing inquiry aims to scrutinize current procedures thoroughly to enhance safety measures and prevent incidents such as the unauthorized consumption of VAD substances. The case serves as a poignant reminder of the emotional complexities and ethical considerations intertwined with end-of-life care decisions in situations involving voluntary assisted dying.


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Article Title: Inquest into voluntary assisted dying begins in Queensland after man took his wife’s end-of-life medication
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