Baby boomers will not lie down and die an undignified death
By Professor Ross Fitzgerald
There is probably no other issue in Australian public life that can claim such increasing levels of support over the past decade. What we are talking about is dying with dignity, or voluntary euthanasia. With such overwhelming levels of support, how come the matter is not being embraced by most state or federal politicians? One has to wonder why, because the subject is not one that will go away soon. The increasing number of baby boomers who are entering the latter phases of life will ensure that.
Published letter in response by Richard Mills of Leura, former President of DWD NSW
Ross Fitzgerald asks why (CT December 9) politicians do not hasten to embrace a dying with dignity law, when an overwhelming majority of the voters want the legal right to choose medical help to die if they are suffering unbearably from a terminal illness. A very good question. It might be because of religious beliefs, but no one would be forced to use the legislation. Nevertheless, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church decrees you should not have a choice, because it considers voluntary euthanasia a sin. So it might be that politicians simply do not want a public fight with a very vocal opponent on an issue they do not see as a vote-changer. It might be because of fears the vulnerable will be abused. Such fears are unwarranted. A Victorian parliamentary committee recently reported “the evidence is conclusive that assisted dying can be provided in a way that guards against abuse and protects the vulnerable in a way that unlawful and unregulated assisted dying does not”.
Professor Fitzgerald should take heart. The tide of history is on his side.
Richard Mills, Leura