Voluntary Assisted Dying. Crunch time at Queensland Parliament.

Last year, the Queensland Parliament voted to authorise its Health Committee to hold public hearings throughout Queensland to assess public attitudes to Voluntary Assisted Dying and Palliative Care. They did an extraordinary job of holding hearings far and wide across the State and encouraging all opinions to be expressed.

I spoke at one of the hearings and it was evident that there was huge support for Queenslanders to have the right to choose to end their lives peacefully and in comfort when faced with an incurable illness. It was also clear that people felt that palliative care services were not adequate and were not an alternate to Voluntary Assisted Dying as many people will choose both. People who attended other hearings gained the same impression as I did. Continue reading “Voluntary Assisted Dying. Crunch time at Queensland Parliament.”

Voluntary Euthanasia

Voluntary Euthanasia — the issue that won’t go away

There is an excellent book now in circulation called “At Liberty To Die — the battle for death with dignity in America”, which has been written by Howard Ball. It sets-out the many efforts that are being made in the United States to legalise physician-assisted death.

There has been legislation debated in their State and Federal Governments and Courts for many years. Millions of dollars have been spent on lawyers and lobbying — the Roman Catholic Church being by far the most prolific financier of the case for the negative — a very doubtful use of the offering of its parishioners.

Oregon was the first state to legalise PAD, and two others will shortly follow them, but many more long and bitter battles will be fought. What is disturbingly significant is the evidence that most people don’t want to even consider the possibility that one day they will die.

I have long held the personal conviction that I want to die at the moment when I know that I have no quality of life. I utterly reject the depressing possibility that my family may have to visit me for years while I am a vegetable. Nor should they and the government have to bear the cost of me being maintained as a vegetable.

I want my doctor to accidentally leave all the windows open on a freezing winter night and ignore me for a while. After all, death is an indispensable and unavoidable part of life, which should be a positive experience at the end of a good journey.