Voluntary euthanasia up for debate

The subject of voluntary euthanasia will be debated in Parliament today.

Voluntary euthanasia up for debate

A multi-party Senate, legal and constitutional affairs committee is expected to report on Greens Senator Richard Di Natale’s proposed Dying with Dignity bill in Parliament later today.

The voluntary euthanasia debate is one in which Australians have made their opinion clear, with around 82.5 per cent of the public stating that they would like to see laws which make it possible for a doctor to assist terminally ill patients to die. Yet despite public opinion being in favour of voluntary euthanasia, the subject still remains one of the great unresolved ethical questions in our community.

In Australia, it is legal for doctors to use potentially lethal doses of drugs at the end of life, so long as their primary intention is to relieve a patient’s suffering. But Australian law still considers it illegal for a doctor to assist in the death of patient, even when death is the only alternative to relieve a patient’s suffering.

Senator Di Natale's draft bill proposes that adults who are suffering intolerably from a terminal illness, and who are mentally competent should be able to request voluntary euthanasia, so long as two doctors agree that the patient’s illness is terminal and a psychiatrist also rules they are not suffering from treatable depression.

Whatever the outcome, many eyes will be on Parliament today awaiting a decision which could affect the lives, and end of lives, of many Australians.

Read more on TheAge.com.au

Opinion: Our right to die

Along with the overwhelming majority of Australians, I too would like to have the option to spend my final days without pain and suffering – and giving us this right is long overdue.

The voluntary euthanasia debate is not a new one to Australians. In fact, it’s almost getting old. Dying is often associated with excruciating suffering which can get even worse as a patient draws closer to death. A doctor’s job is to relieve the suffering of their patients, so it’s time the Government allowed them to do their jobs without antiquated law getting in their way.

According to a 2012 Newspoll survey, eight out of 10 Australians believe in voluntary euthanasia, including three out of four Catholics, four out of five Anglicans and nine out of 10 Australians with no religion; so the faith based argument may seem irrelevant nowadays. What is stopping those up on high from seeing that we, the public, want the option of controlling our own destiny when it comes to ending our time painlessly? Even putting the issue of suffering aside, the costs of keeping people alive against their will should be reason enough, especially for the current Government, to pass this bill quickly – and painlessly.

There may be small concerns raised, but other nations have shown that it is possible for a law such as this to pass as long as there are adequate safeguards put in place.

It is obviously in the public interest to pass a law which permits medical practitioners the ability to allow their patient a peaceful death. If the Government doesn’t take action, there may be more ‘rogue’ doctors, such as Dr Nitschke, offering black market alternatives to what should be regulated medical practice.

There should be no debate. The Australian people should have the right to choose how – and when they die – painlessly and with dignity.

Do you think this law should be passed? Would you like to option of ending your suffering on your own terms, or do you think nature should be able to take its course?





    COMMENTS

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    PlanB
    10th Nov 2014
    10:27am
    Yes it should be passed and yes I want the choice.
    Pass the Ductape
    10th Nov 2014
    10:38am
    Yeah - me too!
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    1:16pm
    Yes Plan , if a dog has a broken leg we shoot it.
    If a human has enormous Brian Cancer, Breast Cancer, Bowl Cancer and a broken leg, we let them slowly rot away.
    patrick
    10th Nov 2014
    10:33am
    I want the choice. Who are these people that think
    that they have a say over other people,s lives?
    particolor
    10th Nov 2014
    2:23pm
    Clerics !
    Star Trekker
    10th Nov 2014
    10:33am
    I want to choose the way I go.
    tisme
    10th Nov 2014
    10:39am
    as a nurse ive seen so many dying slowly in agony, where is the dignity in knowing animals are not left to suffer ( its considered cruel and inhuman) yet humans are left to suffer and thats ok.
    EELS
    10th Nov 2014
    10:54am
    My answers to your questions:
    Do you think this law should be passed? YES
    Would you like to option of ending your suffering on your own terms, YES
    or do you think nature should be able to take its course? NO
    Thanks
    NC
    10th Nov 2014
    10:54am
    If I am in pain that can't be relieved, with or without a terminal disease I certainly think life would be intolerable. What would be the purpose to prolong life in that instance? To see how long a person could endure suffering, perhaps.
    Barry P
    10th Nov 2014
    11:40am
    Yes I agree it should be passed, when quality of life is well passed we should have a choice.
    Only stipulation I believe is that Doctors are completely indepentant as safe guard
    ghoti
    10th Nov 2014
    11:45am
    It's no wonder that parliament's pseudo-moralistic wowsers are intent on torturing terminally-ill patients - they are, after all, quite happy to persecute poor people, refugees, and anyone else not deemed valuable to the society they are trying to create. But voluntary euthanasia will eventually be made legal in order to relieve the pressure on the cost to the government of keeping old folk alive. Pragmatism will win out over principle.

    For me it's a question of human rights: how dare Kevin Andrews or some other hypocritical busybody tell me I'm not allowed to end my life? It's MY life! I didn't choose to be born, so I demand the right to die when, and by whatever means, I wish.
    mozart
    10th Nov 2014
    11:47am
    totally agree
    particolor
    10th Nov 2014
    3:16pm
    DP Don't pay Tax !
    KSS
    10th Nov 2014
    12:17pm
    Do you think this law should be passed? Yes.
    Would you like to option of ending your suffering on your own terms? Yes.

    Do you think nature should be able to take its course? Not so easy to answer this one with a one word answer. I think many people (of all ages) are simply kept alive for the selfish demands of the families. Aided and abetted by the medical profession under law. In these cases then yes let nature run its course. Prolonging life in these circumstances merely inflicts greater trauma on the patient. However, when there is a terminal illness where a natural death may not be imminent, where the patient has decided their quality of life is no-longer acceptable or tolerable, then they should have the right to override nature's course and end their life in the manner and timing of their choosing.
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    12:57pm
    It is fairly obvious that the majority of the population (23,000,000) want the choice, and a handful of scared mental retards (300), we call politicians are against it.
    It is as stupid our Judges and Magistrates letting murderers and rapists walk free or get suspended sentences.
    It seems to me, that a handful of Vigilantes could turn Australia into a smart country.
    Pete
    10th Nov 2014
    12:58pm
    I am not in favour of euthanasia as the current debate stands. I think it is particularly bad to make doctors responsible for ending a person's life wilfully under any circumstances. There should be a separate qualified group of people - call them "Euthanators". If a doctor wanted to be a euthanator he could do the necessary and be qualified. That way I would have the choice of choosing someone to care for me who had or did not have or want the authority to wilfully end my life under certain circumstances.
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    1:11pm
    Come on Pete, with all our Doctors knocking on the door of millionairism, another little bit of responsibility wont hurt them.

    Yes "millionairism" is my own invention.
    HOLA
    10th Nov 2014
    1:39pm
    Another good name for these qualified people could be the "Terminators".
    alinejordan
    10th Nov 2014
    2:18pm
    Pete, whatever you chose in your life is ok by me. let me make my own choices without your input. i don't know you and don't want you to make this kind of decision for me. give people a choice and stay out of other's lives.
    miss aisle
    12th Nov 2014
    10:38am
    Doctors are taught the opposite of euthanasia & if they had no choice with some
    patients but, to end their lives, some Dr's would carry a heavy burden & not be able to cope.
    We cannot just think of the people dying.
    Paddles
    13th Nov 2014
    9:19pm
    miss aisle

    You are short on logic my dear. Agreed the Hippocratic oath says "first, do no harm" but remember that the oath was devised at a time when life expectancy was probably in the 40's.

    Technological advances and techniques have progressed (?) to such a degree that it is now possible to keep people "alive" long past natures planned lifespan.

    As to Doctors' consciences, there would be no compulsion to play a part in ending a supplicant's, so if a Doctor was philosophically opposed to the concept, then he could pass the patient over to a colleague. The final choice rests with the sufferer.
    Polly Esther
    10th Nov 2014
    1:00pm
    Yes pass the law and be quick about it. It's ludicrous that there should still be any debate what ever on the subject in this 'time of enlightenment'.
    Resulting in a much more dignified passing and the alleviation of needless pain.
    Find it hard to believe there are some still toing and froing over it.
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    1:07pm
    Also can anybody recommend a forum which is helpful on this subject. I must have been into a couple of dozen so-called Suicide and Euthanasia sites, but they wont give a sensible answer on how much to use or how to administer.
    If you know of a useful site, please put the link on here.
    Inny
    10th Nov 2014
    1:22pm
    Young Simmo.... exit international is a great website! Just google it!!
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    1:25pm
    Thanks jenelle, I am registered in there, just haven't paid the 100 bucks to become a member for a year.
    Paddles
    13th Nov 2014
    9:23pm
    Young Simmo

    Perhaps a direct communication with Phillip Nitsche would bear fruit for you. If you know anyone planning to visit Mexico, they might rustle up some Nembutal for you. It is quite adequate and popular for the purpose I believe.
    Inny
    10th Nov 2014
    1:18pm
    Yes Yes Yes it's about time!!
    I agree with "Young Simmo"....Elly
    Sen.Cit.90
    10th Nov 2014
    1:22pm
    Qld Advanced Health Directive; has one particular Q. page 13 para 15 Quote; Record Your Wishes here. (for example, you may wish to write something similar to the following: 'I value life, but not under all conditions. I consider dignity and quality of life to be more important than mere existence' or 'I request that I be given sufficient medication to control my pain, even if this hastens my death'.)
    Unquote; for me the first example spells it out. All should be made aware of the Advanced Health Directive and make their wishes known to family members.
    Inny
    10th Nov 2014
    1:24pm
    Agree.... all of us need to have in place ACD's to ensure we have out wishes carried out !
    KSS
    10th Nov 2014
    2:08pm
    Yes along with DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate) orders.
    Simo
    10th Nov 2014
    1:24pm
    Dr Phillip Neski , developed a fool proof system : a Panel of Specialists determine if you are if a sound mind and understand what is going to proceed and if you are definitely Terminally Ill and Suffering in great pain and want to end your life the Machine tells you each of the 3 steps you then respond and command the machine to proceed to the next step and then the final step be fitted to the Euthanasia machine asks you the patient 3 stag questions and when you answer the correct question of if you press this button you will die ( Yes / No ) you press Yes NOT the Doctors and then it is allover peacefully this is how it should be. why we Euthanasia animals to put them out of suffering we are Animals so why not us.
    Tassie Devil
    10th Nov 2014
    1:28pm
    yes I want the choice as well
    MAM
    10th Nov 2014
    1:42pm
    I believe life is a gift. I read an article about a past life that said, if you take your own life you will still have to repeat the situation on the other side. We balance a lot of karma when we suffer apparently. Look after yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually to keep your body in good health. If you are in pain your body is telling you something. Doctors often just give you drugs that don't help. Try a few alternatives like herbs, sea minerals and greens to improve your health. So much info on alternatives. It has helped me . Thank u for reading.
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    1:48pm
    MAM, I might be a bit slow, are you saying yes or no to Euthanasia? or having a bob each way.
    Cheers.
    ghoti
    10th Nov 2014
    2:19pm
    I'm very happy for you, MAM, to believe whatever you want, be it mumbo-jumbo or not. My wish is that no-one forces their views on anyone else and that the law allows everyone to make up their own mind. And that it allows everyone to take whatever action they wish, as long as it doesn't harm others. Put some safeguards in place, of course, then step back.
    catsahoy
    10th Nov 2014
    3:00pm
    MAM, it doesnt matter how much care you take of your body, at some stage it is going to start wearing out, if you arent in to much paihent peace, my mother in law, at 96, had a fall and broke her hip, hospitalised, and operated on, they knew she would not walk peoperly again, and would be in constant pain, she begged my husband to end it for her, this went on for months, she was being kept going on massive amounts of morphine, she gradually slipped away, but only because, i believe, the nurses were upping her dose , so she would go peacefully, i believe i should have the right to choose if i want to end it, of course docs and psychiatrists would need to make an assesement if you wanted it included in your will, but its your life, we have enough rules and regulations now, while were here, who gives them the right to say how we go?
    bebby
    10th Nov 2014
    1:47pm
    Yes Simmo, I also want that choice
    Emily
    10th Nov 2014
    1:49pm
    I support totally for a person to have the right to die with dignity. My husband made this choice last year when he was of a sane mind and could see that the quality of his life was not what he wanted . He also did not want to put me and his children through a lingering debilitating illness. The hospital and the Drs all agreed and he died peacefully and with total dignity.
    Mar
    10th Nov 2014
    1:52pm
    There can be a time when a patient is terminally ill and dying that no cocktail of drugs will ease the pain, many people want to go and it is inhuman to keep them alive. The responsibility should not be on the doctor, it can be very difficult for them to treat and ease the pain. We all should be able to die with dignity and to choose this. I would welcome any law that allow this.
    Mar
    10th Nov 2014
    1:56pm
    I absolutely agree with you Emily. I went through the same thing when my husband died of liver cancer 7 years ago. He was begging the doctor to end it. We should legislate to stop this from happening.
    Olive jam
    10th Nov 2014
    2:06pm
    Anyone who has seen a loved one die in agony would agree that this bill to die with dignity is long overdue. Been there, done that and if it comes to me I will be taking a one way 1st class flight to Sth America where I will procure and take the necessary medication to save my family watching me die.
    dougie
    10th Nov 2014
    2:12pm
    Too many obvious problems for anyone without the wisdom of Solomon to answer.
    There are days that I could kill myself and then the next day the light shines through, maybe I would get the wrong answer on the right day.
    Remember we do have the right when hospitalised to request " Do not Resuscitate" and that this request will be adhered to.
    I do not want someone to have to make this decision for me as that would be too much for them. All I wish for is that when I go my family remember me with love and dignity and remember with joy the lives that we shared together.
    miss aisle
    12th Nov 2014
    10:44am
    I agree Dougie, - I agree with the "Do not resuscitate".
    But, as for going further, - too much to deal with for medical professionals.
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    2:15pm
    You don't always need a doctor.

    A couple of years ago, a bloke up north some where near Derby I think, chartered a small Helicopter for a joy ride. At about 3,000 feet out over the bush he opened the door and jumped out.
    I am not sure whether paid in advance for the trip.
    Kato
    10th Nov 2014
    5:59pm
    That will do it.
    alinejordan
    10th Nov 2014
    2:16pm
    i want to sign a petition, IT'S TIME!!! i want to be afforded the same mercy as i afford my pets. simple no?
    Disco3
    10th Nov 2014
    2:19pm
    Along with the right to die is the responsibility of someone to assist you to end your life. Do you want that responsibility? I doubt it; I don't. I don't support euthanasia but that doesn't mean it is wrong; what is wrong is the active taking of another person's life.

    Consider this: if it 'right' to euthanasia those who can freely express their desire to die, should we deny that right to those who cannot? I am referring to those who are demented or unconscious following a stroke or the intellectually disabled. Who ensures their rights are met?

    And by the way, I spent most of my working life looking after the sick and infirm.
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    2:27pm
    Disco3, you say "I don't support euthanasia".

    Are you saying that if somebody is suffering enormous incurable pain 24/7, and pain killers are not helping, you prefer to see them suffer rather than put a stop to the suffering immediately?.
    miss aisle
    12th Nov 2014
    10:48am
    I agree, Disco3 - If I assisted in someone's death, it would be a heavy burden to
    carry. There are excellent medications for pain.
    Star Trekker
    12th Nov 2014
    1:12pm
    I am in constant pain and cannot take any pain medication. It doesn't work on nerve pain and surgery can only relieve so much.
    When I get to the point that I cannot stand it anymore I hope my family & doctors have the guts to give me a lethal dose.
    Paddles
    13th Nov 2014
    9:33pm
    All Above

    Please consider the alternative open to somebody who retains some mobility or functionality but is denied "death with dignity".

    That alternative, of course, is suicide and the stigma that such a thing brings. I don't care what good things you may have done in your life but I can guarantee that you will be remembered as "that bloke/woman" who topped themselves. That to the exclusion of all else.
    Young Simmo
    13th Nov 2014
    11:38pm
    Paddles, I promise that when I am dead, I will not complain, bellyache or grizzel about anything.
    pauline
    10th Nov 2014
    2:22pm
    Politicians like Kevin Andrews and Abbott who seem to think that a lingering death full of pain, suffering and indignity is preferable to the right to choose when and how to die are making a lot of elderly people unhappy, anxious and stressed out. It is an uncertain future with no light at the end of the tunnel when they cannot even choose to end their suffering if and when it becomes unbearable. For Abbott, Kevin Andrews and other anti-euthanasia politicians, I ask these question: Do you not have a heart?. Where is your sense of compassion? Can't you see it is inhumane to prolong agony?
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    2:32pm
    Yes Pauline, as I said earlier, 23,000,000 people want the choice, and 300 head in the clouds idiots want to force their opinions on us.
    Alexia_x
    10th Nov 2014
    2:44pm
    Yes we all have that right
    Kaz
    10th Nov 2014
    2:52pm
    It is absolutely time for these laws to be changed.
    terrib
    10th Nov 2014
    3:03pm
    We should not still be discussing this topic, it should have been made legal years ago. How much suffering are we supposed to put up with just because some people in Parliament keep refusing to face it. They are our representatives & they should be listening to us not to religious leaders. It is OUR life & OUR death, let us deal with it as we wish to.
    Paddles
    13th Nov 2014
    9:37pm
    I would urge you all to attend the gatherings dear to the heart of aspiring Parliamentarians, and ask them from the floor of the meeting just what their stance is on this issue.

    Make it clear that an answer in the negative equals a lost vote!
    talofa
    10th Nov 2014
    3:05pm
    here are so many pollies with high incomes who go against the wishes of most people
    dr Philip nitschke is a very brave man...as a former nurse I will end my life when 'I' want
    it's my life & not the right os the above names mentioned like abbot & andews to tell me
    what to do...I have 2 books with all the good info & when I see fit I will do it with one of
    these plastic bags talofa
    HOLA
    10th Nov 2014
    3:38pm
    I watched my Dad suffer the terrible effects of Parkinson's Disease. In the end he could not feed himself,drink or control his bladder or bowel. My Mum had died 6 months earlier so he had nothing to live for. I'm sure if I had a tablet which would have ended it all, he would have willingly taken it, and he was a very religious man. I wouldn't want to die as he did, totally in pain and drugged to the eyeballs. He certainly didn't die with dignity, which he so deserved.
    Paddles
    13th Nov 2014
    9:43pm
    talofa

    A well meant word of advice to you. If you wish to enter into any debate, then you should avoid irrelevancies and address the topic.

    There is absolutely no relevance in this context to politicians earnings and such comments only detract from your contribution.
    Bella
    10th Nov 2014
    3:34pm
    I agree wholly, everyone should have a right to choose how they wish to die. Especially when there is no hope of recovery only a long slow EXPENSIVE trip to the grave.
    I come from a family of suicidal people, so I have no fear.
    mogo51
    10th Nov 2014
    3:51pm
    I am also wanting the choice in the event of terminal and long suffering illness. Have a mother who has been in a nursing home for 30 plus years and had alzymers, dementia etc for that long. They tell me she does not know where she is, but keeps asking me to take her home and she does not like where she is (which is quite a good nursing home) not for me I am afraid.
    HOLA
    10th Nov 2014
    3:58pm
    Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.Someone mentioned, if you take your own life you still have to repeat the situation on the other side. Does anyone know of anyone who has had to do this?
    particolor
    10th Nov 2014
    5:06pm
    A couple, but they are too busy playing with their 40 Virgins !!
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    5:37pm
    Hey particolor, getting back to the last couple of days discussion re: Viagra.
    If one overdosed on Viagra just before dying, would that make it difficult to close the coffin?????
    Paddles
    13th Nov 2014
    9:48pm
    HOLA

    The late media baron, Kerry Packer, who technically died for a period at a polo match, was later interviewed by a journalist who sought a comment on "the other side"

    Kerry famously said....."Son, I've been there and I can tell you that there is f**k all there" . I am of a mind to believe him!
    HOLA
    14th Nov 2014
    7:59am
    Kerry Packer might have been technically dead but he was not brain dead. He was lucky to have been revived by these wonderful Ambos. Some people say they saw a bright light on the other side while others say they saw their mother or guardian angel. My Grandmother was dying in hospital and she kept looking beyond her family and said, "I'm coming Tom", who was her late husband who had died some 50 years before. I really believe she saw him.
    Mar
    10th Nov 2014
    4:02pm
    I think that if you have experienced going through a Loved ones death without dignity and in constant pain your choice would be YES. So much of our legislation is made by people who do not have the understanding and experience and never research the people who may work at the grass roots or be extremely close to the situation. At least the Advance Care Directive can help now. My family are aware of mine and agree to be guided by my values an direction.
    jonboy
    10th Nov 2014
    4:49pm
    Yes we all deserve the right to die when it is time.
    Even a Government should be able to come up with good safegaurds as the Inheritance issue is a real can of worms as to when a person dies first etc.
    But the big problem is our Pollies have BIG stakes in many of the Nursing Homes and to kill off the suffering Patients is to kill off their BIG profit returns.
    Profits and BIG costs that is another secret tax on those who worked hard for their money.
    John Gray
    Dotty
    10th Nov 2014
    4:50pm
    I have advocated for this for about twenty years !
    In fact I said to my family if I ever got to that stage then pull the plug as I don't want family and friends hanging round my bed just waiting for me to die as I am unable to take any form of pain killers as I am allergic to them !
    And besides I don't think its fair on the family have to wait that extra time just to see you die in pain!
    So let us die with dignity!
    Dotty
    ghoti
    10th Nov 2014
    4:55pm
    "Senator Di Natale's draft bill proposes that adults who are suffering intolerably from a terminal illness …" Why should I not be able to choose to end my life even if I'm fit and healthy? Why am I not allowed to slip back, voluntarily, into the Void from which I came? I have no objection to Abbott, Shorten and Co being Catholics or Pastafarians or anything else they want to be as long as they don't object to my being whatever I want to be. The separation of church and state demands that they leave their religious beliefs at parliament's door and make decisions based on humanist principles.
    Paddles
    13th Nov 2014
    9:52pm
    ghoti

    Well put and spot on................Bravo
    Indy_Lopos
    10th Nov 2014
    5:02pm
    NO WAY! Legalizing suicide is a backwards step. Also would make it easier for someone to murder someone who is a burden , especially by someone who is a major beneficiary of a will, and make the death look legitimate.
    Young Simmo
    10th Nov 2014
    5:14pm
    Indy_Lopos, you are on your own with that stupid comment, the other 58 people in here have a sensible attitude to this discussion.
    I suppose your biggest decision when you get to Heaven is, whether you want a 3 x 1 accommodation or a room in a pub.
    Kato
    10th Nov 2014
    6:01pm
    Indy-lopos it goes on now and they call them families. some of the bastards have spent ya money before they get you in the box.
    MAM
    10th Nov 2014
    6:05pm
    I agree Indy there will be problems. We are all accountable for our actions.
    miss aisle
    12th Nov 2014
    10:52am
    I agree Indy Lopos. It would open up a Pandora's box of problems.
    ice-cold
    10th Nov 2014
    5:29pm
    I must have a very good Doctor..We've spoken about this & she has agreed with me that when the time comes ,she will make sure that I don't suffer,I've Informed all of my Family of my wishes,I believe that it is up to the Individual to Pick a Time & place to Depart from this Beautiful World, And not the Government,nor Church,should Interfere, You would put an Animal down if it was suffering, Wouldn't you...HHMM ??
    Kato
    10th Nov 2014
    6:04pm
    A bottle of scotch and a mine shaft should do the trick.
    Luvvyduck
    10th Nov 2014
    6:40pm
    I had to watch my sister go through breast and lung cancer at the same time. She suicided before it got to the stage she was too doped up to live normally, and recognise her loved ones. Her death by choice would have provided her with dignity in death, and time to prepare, and be with all her loved ones at the end.
    Aurora60
    10th Nov 2014
    6:40pm
    That's an absolute affirmative. Leave religion out of this discussion. It's up to the individual to decide what they want to do with their lives and for those who disagree I hope you are never in pain to a degree that you want to do away with yourself as you would have been the ones who would have voted against it.
    Sevi
    10th Nov 2014
    6:54pm
    Course I want it, saw my Mum have a horrific long drop into death, she said once that if she were a dog I would have the RSPCA to deal with. No one should ever suffer pain
    chertl
    10th Nov 2014
    6:57pm
    My Mum and partner begged to end their pain when they were dying from cancer. My partner had C.O.P.D, Lung Cancer and his body was riddled with Melanoma that had gone to his stomach, liver and his brain. For 12 days we spent this in a palliative care ward at a hospital where to go to the toilet he had to wait till a wardsman came to use a hoist to get to the toilet and as he was so thin it hurt him a lot. He would cry and say he had had enough. The dr's were amazing and only for the care from one of the nurses I think I would have cracked up. To see him so distressed and very sad tore me to pieces. So yes I would wish to be able to have a say if I got to the stage where my condition was deemed terminal.
    Davymac
    10th Nov 2014
    7:08pm
    I have seen terrible suffering particularly from cancer. If it is the patients wish to end it early......so let it be.
    Mar
    10th Nov 2014
    8:55pm
    I know many Christians who believe the good Lord would never want them to suffer, so believe we should have this legislation. We now live in different times where medical science can be used to help people, to alleviate suffering when the persons time on this earth is coming to an end. Christians would certainly believe they were going to a better place. If it was legislated people would not have to resort to suicide and could leave this world with dignity and grace.
    midnight
    10th Nov 2014
    10:43pm
    I have an Aunt that I love dearly. She is 94, strong heart, strong mind. Several strokes, deaf, blind, ulcerated legs, can't read a book, can't watch TV, can't walk around the home she lives in, no longer independent. I can't phone her to chat to her any more (she lives several hundred miles away) as she simply can't hear me. She and I have discussed her wish to die for several years, and as I love her dearly my way of letting her know how much I really love and respect her is to apologise for my inability to help her with what she wants so much, a release from the miserable life that her active brain and healthy heart make all the medical practitioners obliged to keep her existing in. I can't send her a Christmas card she can read, I can't make a phone call to wish her a happy birthday. It breaks my heart that she is forced to live and with her heart may live to 100. Several more years of life in a cocoon of pain,silence, loneliness, lack of communication, reliant on relatives to pass on information, angry with what she has and totally tied to this life. I am so torn with my belief of life at all costs and my undeniable closeness to a situation that challenges all my basic sensibilities. I am torn in two, but is it because I am considering my own needs above hers? We wouldn't let it happen to a dog.
    Paddles
    13th Nov 2014
    10:00pm
    midnight

    I found your words very moving and I would urge you copy them, don't change a thing, and send them to whatever Senate Inquiry that may hopefully be convened to give them a better understanding of the ramifications of this issue
    bartpcb
    11th Nov 2014
    3:20am
    Every individual has the right to end their own life. It is their life. Nobody has the right to insist an individual who is suffering, should continue in that suffering. By the same token no-one who wishes to terminate their suffering has the right to expect another to do it for them. It is beholden upon us all to acknowledge that a persons life is their own, and even if they have a religious belief, the issue is between them and their God.
    Paddles
    13th Nov 2014
    10:05pm
    bartpcb

    Inherent in your words is a recommendation to commit suicide.

    Unfortunately, many, if not most, people in extremis would be incapable of ending their own lives or would lack the means to do so. These are the ones crying out for relief and they every right to expect it from a compassionate society.
    Goodevans
    11th Nov 2014
    11:28am
    Yes I want to choose. Just as I had my beloved cat, when there was no quality of life or hope of improvement, euthanized, I 'm happy to identify now when I should be painlessly put to permanent sleep.
    The financial and emotional savings of those close to me are important & if the wishes are clear the medical practicians should have no ethical qualms whatsoever.
    Just make a living will asap - while you're able - I will be doing so.
    It's a no brainer - so to speak!
    Anonymous
    11th Nov 2014
    5:07pm
    Do unborn babies have the same rights .
    Young Simmo
    11th Nov 2014
    5:15pm
    First of all, what rights are you talking about?
    Anonymous
    12th Nov 2014
    12:15pm
    The right to life.
    Young Simmo
    12th Nov 2014
    12:48pm
    Reading between the lines, or more accurately between the words, I suspect that you are referring to the practice of Abortion.
    If I am correct in that assumption, I would have to say way off subject, especially when you are referring to somebody who has not taken a breath of fresh air.
    Anonymous
    12th Nov 2014
    1:12pm
    I don't see where it is off topic the sanctity of life applies as much to abortion capital punishment euthanasia or assisted suicide.
    I oppose the taking of any life..
    alpha
    11th Nov 2014
    8:24pm
    I will sign any petition to give me the Right.
    If plan A doesn't work there's 25 more letters in the alphabet.
    Anonymous
    12th Nov 2014
    11:54am
    When someone is in excruciating pain and has a terminable disease...is it not kinder to abide with their wishes to end their suffering? I feel people have the right to do so...however...stringent laws have to be put in place to ensure that euthanasia is not misused. People should make this decision when they are of sound mind and state clearly what they wish to happen should the occasion arise. I for one would not like to leave it to my family in time of grief to do this for me...so...making arrangements in my will seems the best way to go.
    Young Simmo
    12th Nov 2014
    12:24pm
    I can not believe all the stupid comments regarding the burden of helping somebody escape from a horrible end to their life. It wouldn't be a burden for me, but rather a feeling of having done the kindest thing possible for a Love One. I know if I get into a bad enough situation there are a couple of easy options.
    (1). The 6th or 7th floor balcony at royal Perth hospital.
    (2). My Falcon sedan into a large tree at 200 kph with no seat belt.
    Now, thinking about those 2 methods and the mess afterwards, a nice simple tablet would make everybody else's job a lot more pleasant and easy.
    OK not pleasant, but less YUCKY.
    Star Trekker
    12th Nov 2014
    1:17pm
    I totally agree with you. I would rather a clean passing than a messy one. Why traumatise the emergency workers more than they already are.
    margaretoz
    12th Nov 2014
    1:27pm
    I want to have the choice to end my life if it becomes intolerable.
    My husband died last month after fighting Alzheimer's for 9 years.
    The last 4 weeks were so awful. He couldn't walk, speak or eat so he
    really starved to death.
    Give me a dignified way to leave this mortal coil.
    Holly
    12th Nov 2014
    2:26pm
    A RESOUNDING YES, YES, YES, YES, YES. I want to do what I want to do with my life - being here when enjoyable or deciding to end it when not enjoyable. Nobody has the right to tell another human being what to do with their lives. All the others against it - you can stay right until the end and enjoy the pain before you go wherever it is you think you are going.
    Young Simmo
    12th Nov 2014
    2:41pm
    Spot on Holly, and about 98% of the commenters in here agree with you and I.
    When the other 2% are rotting away in never ending pain 24/7 they will change their minds.
    So that makes 100% that want to go easily and peacefully, and it is only a hand full of GUTLESS Politicians that are the problem.
    Gra
    12th Nov 2014
    3:02pm
    Yes, we should be allowed to make that decision ourselves and left to die with dignity, not made to go out a dribbling, piddling, vegetable who doesn't know what day it is or who the people are around us.
    Holly
    12th Nov 2014
    4:10pm
    Too true Gra, I wouldn't even let my much loved old border collie die like that. When he is in too much pain and suffering, I will help him pass away peacefully with an injection. He will be loved until his last breath. I will not prolong his life just for my own selfish needs.

    My 89 year old mum (is blind but has good health and a great sense of humour) asks me often "Have you read anything lately on how we can do it when we are ready?", I wish I could tell her Yes.....
    Evy44
    12th Nov 2014
    4:36pm
    I am a member of Exit International & am so hoping that this bill will get passed. Whether it does or not I will choose my time when it suits me, but my family would be better served if they weren't criminalised for being with me
    toot2000
    12th Nov 2014
    10:13pm
    Dr Nitschke made a mistake. He helped a man to die who didn't have a terminal illness and he didn't refer him on to a health professional. This was perceived as unprofessional behaviour and he must accept the consequences of this.

    We all want the choice but I doubt we will ever get it, certainly not in our lifetime. Looks like the only option is storing up enough pills to do the job or refuse food and drink which takes a few weeks.
    Anonymous
    13th Nov 2014
    1:29pm
    Dr Nitschke would have taken the Hippocratic Oath when he became a doctor. He is supposed to uphold specific ethical standards. He did not,as you say toot2000--he assisted a man to die who didn't have a terminal illness and should be made to accept the consequences.

    All the more reason why euthanasia should be made legal and specific laws and guidelines put into place, so things can be done in the right way.
    Young Simmo
    13th Nov 2014
    1:51pm
    If that guy was really serious about it and nobody was going to stop him, at least Philip ensured that he did it right. Philip didn't make him do it, just helped him to get the result he wanted.
    Anonymous
    13th Nov 2014
    1:59pm
    But that's not his call.The guy was in a heavily depressed state.Nitschke should have encouraged him to get psychological help,that's what he should have done.Thousands of people with depression have been helped with the right care.
    unicorn
    13th Nov 2014
    7:34am
    Doctors are allowed to prescribe drugs which will & do kill every day why not when asked for ?
    pete@nakedhydroponics
    13th Nov 2014
    4:14pm
    For me it's a question of sovereignty. Does the government, society or I own my body?
    If I don't own my own body how can I own anything?
    If the gov. or society owns my body, does that mean they can sell me?
    If they can't sell me then they don't own me. That means they have no right to dictate to me what I can or can't do to my own body. I agree assisted suicide places a burden on the attending doctor, so clearly he/she should have to right to defer the case to another if he/she is uncomfortable.
    I like the idea of the suicide machine.
    Evy44
    13th Nov 2014
    5:56pm
    Does anyone know the result of the debate last night? I haven't heard anything
    Evy


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