A man has been charged with aiding in a suicide following the death of a 74-year-old woman on the Atherton Tablelands.

Emergency services attended an address at Upper Barron on Sunday where they found the woman unresponsive.

A 76-year-old man who was also in the house was taken to Atherton and Cairns Hospitals, where he was treated for injuries before being discharged.

He is scheduled to appear in Cairns Magistrates Court today charged with one count of aiding in a suicide.


Queensland Parliament passed voluntary assisted dying legislation last September, however the laws won’t be in effect until January 2023.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said Queensland Health needed time to put in place the complex clinical and administrative arrangements for the scheme’s implementation.

“This includes establishing the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board, a Statewide Care Navigator Service, Statewide Pharmacy Service, support systems for access by regional and remote communities and developing training, supporting guidelines and processes,” she said.

“Additional engagement with stakeholder groups including medical professionals, First Nations and multicultural groups will be essential to guiding some of this work.”

To be eligible when the changes come into effect on 1 January, a person must meet all five criteria, including having an eligible condition, having decision-making capacity, acting without coercion, being aged at least 18 and fulfilling residency requirements.


Main points

  • A 76 year-old man is facing court today charged with aiding a suicide 
  • On Sunday, a 74 year-old woman was found dead in an Upper Barron home
  • Voluntary Assisted Dying laws passed by Queensland Parliament last year come into effect in 2023
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