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A time to die? Why I believe in the right to choose. Revd Canon Rosie Harper

A time to die? Why I believe in the right to choose

by Revd Canon Rosie Harper UK  

Don’t tell me that the time of someone’s death is purely God’s business. That at the moment when all a human soul wants is for it to end, God stands at the end of the bed and says: ‘No my child, it is my will that you suffer just a few more days.’”………

It’s the beginning of a new year and the script is that we talk about hope. It was a challenging 2017 but things will be OK. New opportunities, fresh blessings, more love and more joy.

So why am I wanting to talk about death? Well, it’s personal and also professional.

It’s personal because Continue reading

Victoria has become the first state to legalise assisted dying choice!

In an historic and humane victory for commonsense, Victoria has become the first state to legalise assisted dying choice!  Well done Victoria!

There was a deplorable lack of Christian compassion for the terminally ill with unbearable suffering shown by the MLCs opposing the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, resulting in its recent defeat. Indeed, many of the Victorian MPs opposing Voluntary Assisted Dying showed a similar lack of compassion and empathy, but thankfully these were outnumbered when it came to the final vote.

To sum up briefly…..

  • The vote on the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill was lost in the NSW Legislative Council (upper house) by 20 votes to 19 on Thursday 16 November 2017.
  • The Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed the lower house on Oct 20, 2017, by 47 votes to 36, after a long and sometimes bitter debate. It then moved to the upper house.
  • The Bill passed the Victorian upper house by 22 votes to 18, but with amendments. This meant it had to go back to the lower house for the amendments to be accepted.
  • Back in the lower house, Wednesday 29.11.2017, there was an attempt to defer debate on the Bill indefinitely, but this was lost 46 votes to 37, and the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill then passed “on the voices.”

It is interesting that the reason for the one fewer “Yes” vote in this final session was that one of the supportive MPs, Government minister Natalie Hutchins missed the vote because she was attending her husband’s funeral and was not granted a pair.

Assisted dying choice for those who meet the rigid criteria will be accessible from mid 2019 to allow for processes and training to be implemented.

Other reports including some details on the Bill and accessing assistance, can be found here > http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/euthanasia-to-be-legal-in-victoria-from-2019-20171129-gzuxa8.html

And here > http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-29/euthanasia-passes-parliament-in-victoria/9205472

My sincere thanks to every one who has assisted, lobbied MPs, written letters, donated funds or helped in any way to make this day a reality. We can now move on to either WA or Tasmania, or perhaps South Australia, and there have even been rumblings in Queensland.

Ian Wood

Excellent news from Victoria with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passing the upper house, with amendments, by 22 votes to 18

Yes, it is excellent news from Victoria with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passing the upper house, with amendments, by 22 votes to 18.  It now goes back to the lower house to see if they will vote to accept the amendments and pass the Bill, so just one more hurdle to cross there!

 

Sincere thanks to Dying With Dignity Victoria and the team, Andrew Denton and the Go Gentle Australia/Stop Victorians Suffering team for your unstinting efforts and to every MP who voted for compassionate choice.

 

Shame that we failed by one vote in our NSW upper house a week earlier.

 

Ian Wood on behalf of all the members Australia-wide of Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia group.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu gives his blessing to the Voluntary Assisted Dying campaign in Australia.

One of the world’s most highly regarded religious leaders, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa has stated in a video message: “People who are terminally ill should have the option of dignified and compassionate assisted dying alongside the wonderful palliative care that already exists”.  “I pray that lawmakers, politicians and religious leaders have the courage to support choices terminally ill citizens make in departing Mother Earth with dignity and love.”

 

Ian Wood, spokesperson for the Australian group, Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia, said “I am delighted to learn that Archbishop Tutu is willing to give his blessing and support to our Christian campaign for legislation to allow the option of compassionate choice for a person who is terminally or incurably ill with intolerable suffering.”

 

“The Archbishop recognises the enormous value of palliative care, Continue reading

Nurse Anne Maxwell – her passionate, emotional plea for voluntary assisted dying choice

Australia’s nurses are on the frontline every day, working with dying patients and their families, providing treatment, care and emotional support. They witness the suffering firsthand, so it is no surprise that the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association support the upcoming Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.

Nurse Anne Maxwell shares her experience and explains why we need an assisted dying law in Australia. Please share.

Nurse Anne Maxwell

Australia's nurses are on the frontline every day, working with dying patients and their families, providing treatment, care and emotional support. They witness the suffering firsthand, so it is no surprise that the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association support the upcoming Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill. Nurse Anne Maxwell shares her experience and explains why we need an assisted dying law in Australia. Please share.

Posted by Dying with Dignity NSW on Monday, September 11, 2017

Rose and Ed – two very different ways of dying!

I have previously posted the story of Ed Ness, in his final hours………..

View the video and see for yourself the peaceful and happy emotional state of Ed Ness, pictured here

and in this video link http://www.cheknews.ca/exclusive-ed-ness-dies-peacefully-in-doctor-assisted-death-324498/  

Ed Ness died from terminal lung cancer after requesting and qualifying for assisted death in Canada, where it is legal.  Ed said goodbye to his closest friends and family. He was given medication that made him fall asleep and his last words to everyone were, “this is perfect.  He passed away peacefully within a few minutes.

Rose is pictured dying from an incurable progressive neuro-degenerative disease. ”Absolute torture!”  Rose was pleading for MPs in South Australia  to pass an assisted dying law.   24 MPs voted against the Bill, 23 MPs for the Bill, so Rose was forced to take the other option within current law, and she stopped eating. She took many days to die. Husband Bernie is still traumatised.  I trust her death is etched on the ‘conscience of those 24 MPs who took away the dignity of Rose. View the emotional distress endured by Rose here.  https://www.todaytonightadelaide.com.au/stories/roses-story

We are striving for a change in the law to give compassionate choice to people like Rose.

We fully support palliative care but sometimes PC is not enough, and this extra choice is needed.

Please support Annie’s right to choose. A heart wrenching plea to our politicians.

Annie has extreme suffering as her Motor Neurone Disease is progressing rapidly.

Please view her video clip here.

Then sign her petition and share the link with your friends and ask them to sign too. As at June 3, Annie’s petition had 73,000 signatures.  Since making this video clip I understand Annie can no longer speak.

To really make a difference email the photo and link to your Member of Parliament and ask them to support compassionate legislation to give choice in dying for people such as Annie.

I could not help but contrast the traumatic emotional state of Annie compared with the peaceful and happy emotional state of Ed Ness, pictured here . 

and in this video link http://www.cheknews.ca/exclusive-ed-ness-dies-peacefully-in-doctor-assisted-death-324498/

Yet Annie is dying from terminal MND and Ed dying from terminal lung cancer. 

The crucial difference is that in Canada Ed now has the assisted dying choice. 

Both are short powerful videos that demonstrate visually to me what we are all fighting for.

Rose’s story. Today Tonight on 7, Adelaide. Why did all 24 MPs who voted against assisted dying choice decline to appear on camera?

Reporter Rosanna Mangiarelli, Today Tonight on 7 from Adelaide: It was late last year when we started this story, when the Death with Dignity bill [in South Australia] was defeated by the narrowest of margins, 23 votes to 24. We have waited since December for those most vocal about the topic to get back to us and last week all 24 who voted against the bill declined to talk on camera about the issue.  So tonight we bring you Rose’s story, who, when the euthanasia vote was lost, made a desperate decision to take matters into her own hands.

Link to Rose’s story

Ian Wood sums up: This must be one of the most moving 6 minutes of video I have ever viewed. I feel anguish for Rose and her futile suffering, sorrow for Bernie, and anger towards our politicians who continue to deny us compassionate choice in dying and refuse to accept the overwhelming evidence in support.

I have emailed the link with my comment to my local MP, Jai Rowell, and asked him to please heed the overwhelming evidence in support.  You may wish to email the link to your MP too?

Letter to Brad Hazzard, Minister for Health – Please have positive input into the NSW assisted dying draft legislation.

My email to our new NSW Minister for Health, sent 13.2.2017

Brad Hazzard
Minister for Health

Dear Mr Hazzard

Congratulations on your appointment as Health Minister for NSW.  It is encouraging that in the Daily Telegraph 6.2.2017 you are reported as recognising that more needs to be done for health matters in regional NSW.

You also stated that: “……often people depart this life in hospital…….”.  This is certainly true, as NSW Prof Ken Hillman has noted: “Up to 70% of people now die in acute hospitals, surrounded by well meaning strangers, inflicting all that medicine has to offer; often resulting in a painful, distressing and degrading end to their life.”

Research indicates that in fact 70 to 80% of terminal patients would prefer to die at home.  To enable this, adequately trained people are needed, plus the funding directed towards this service.  I imagine it could well be ‘cost effective’ compared with dying in an Intensive Care Unit or similar?  Ref: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-25/hundreds-access-program-of-end-of-life-care-at-home/6883162

Another issue relating to the terminally ill also attracts a similar level of 70 to 80% public support in NSW.  That of assisted dying choice for the terminally or hopelessly ill who are facing futile suffering.

A cross party group of NSW MPs is currently working on a draft Bill to enable this choice, and I respectfully urge you to please have positive input into this much needed legislation, with the aim of ensuring that the final draft is such that you as Minister for Health could publicly support and vote to pass it.  It does need to have a balance enabling access for the patients who wish to use it, and safeguards to protect from possible abuse.

There is now extensive data from other jurisdictions that proves this balance is possible.
– A wide ranging, in depth, Victorian Parliament Inquiry into End of Life Choices made Continue reading

Response to NSW Premier Mike Baird to ABC Q&A

Mike Baird
Premier of NSW
SYDNEY

Dear Mr Baird

Thank you for publicly admitting on ABC Q&A, 6.9.2015, that you had very strong views on [against] legalising CHOICE in assisted dying, but after talking with a man in a terrible position, his pleas will ‘haunt’ you.

John Grayson, the 34 year old with terminal brain cancer, vividly described his prognosis – “I am going to end up with right hand side paralysis, blindness, being mute. I will end up in severe, chronic pain. I will have cognitive impaired ability and I will eventually die. What I want to know is why I’m forced to go through that torture.” (Ref 1)

GEOFFREY ROBERTSON: Look, we have a fundamental right not to be subjected to torture and if that torture is cancer, if it’s a terminal illness, we are entitled to take ourselves out of it. It is an awesome decision to make, but [it’s] we are entitled to make it without the intervention of the state, without having those who assist us, often our loved family with whom we have a final meal or whatever, arrested and charged with assisting suicide. Surely that’s right.

MIKE BAIRD: “my concern would be, you know, making a judgment on life”. Fact: You are not making a judgment on life. When an illness is terminal, the patient would be making a judgement on choosing to endure the torture, or die a quick, pain-free death It is not a choice between life and death, but a choice between two different ways of dying. Continue reading

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