Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Euthanasia, or voluntary assisted suicide, has been the subject of much moral, religious, philosophical, legal and human rights debate in Australia.

Each and every one of us is going to face death. How, when and where we do not know. I am not afraid of death. What I am afraid of is the possibility of years, months, weeks or even days in pain that is not warranted, uncalled for and unnecessary.

I watched my father suffer in pain the last weeks of his life. He was ready to go, he wanted to be with the love of his life, my mother who passed away 10 years prior. My father faced poor health in his last 8 years and was 87 when he died. At the very end he was given morphine for the pain but it was not enough. It only caused him more distress and discomfort because his body could not take it. What I saw my father go through, is not what I want for myself, when my time comes.

No one is God and no one has the right to dictate to another how they should face death or when. Religious institutions, the medical profession and politicians have no right to impose their beliefs, wishes or political agenda on any individual when it comes to death. 

In a humane society, when an animal is in pain or suffering we put it out of its misery. Most people have a deep love for their animals, and having to put their animal down is like parting with a family member. Yet we are denied this same humane act when it comes to people why?

Over the years, people from all walks of life have informed me that increased doses of morphine is administered to patients not only for the pain, but also not wanting to prolong the inevitable. This is done with the family’s permission and knowledge. Yet if too much morphine is given then the nurse or doctor can be charged with murder.  

Before death most of us make out a will. We choose someone we trust to be executor of our will and to carry out our wishes with the distribution of our possessions. A person’s body is no different. I propose that any individual of voting age has the right to have a document drawn up like a will, appointing two people as executors with the authority to carry out your prescribed wishes.

This is the circumstances of how I envisage my document to be drawn up;

  1. If I were to have incurable cancer, head trauma, on life support for the unforeseeable future, or a vegetable with no hope of any quality of life again, then I want the right to end my life by injection of a drug that will allow me to die peacefully.
  2. My authority would be given to two people of my choosing. The document is to drawn up with a legal professional and I would have to be of sound mind. 
  3. Under the proposal the two people nominated by me to carry out my wishes would request for a drug to be administered when they believe it is time. This authority would also have to be supported by the doctor familiar with my case or medical history.
Euthanasia may not be everyone’s wish for one reason or another. If that be the case then you have no need to seek the necessary documentation. No one should seek another’s permission to die with dignity and peace. I have lived my life as I have seen fit, and I should have the right to die, as I see fit. No one has the right to dictate their beliefs, religious or otherwise on anyone else?  I and only I, will determine when my time is up and if I am not in a position to do so, then loved ones of my choosing will. It is a disgrace that family and friends have to watch loved ones go through pain and suffering unnecessarily. All I would want is peace.

Pauline Hanson 



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