The personal stories behind the Tasmanian bill
Behind the proposed Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill in Tasmania are real people, with real stories. We hear from Nica Cordover, whose husband Robert had an assisted death to escape from the ravages of motor neurone disease; Bill Godfrey’s story of his Mother’s suicide to escape from the debilitating, untreatable pain from her damaged spine; and Joan Fitz-Nead whose enjoyment of life is now disappearing as a result of chronic, debilitating pain from spinal disintegration.
Robert Cordover discovered he was suffering from MND when he woke one morning to find he couldn’t speak properly. “His words just all garbled together,” says his youngest son, Gideon. “For a guy who had travelled around the world, spoke half a dozen languages and was always communicating, that was a real kick in the teeth….Overnight, it changed his whole capacity to enjoy life.” Over the next six months, Robert’s condition deteriorated rapidly. On the morning of June 21, 2009, Robert prepared a curry and slipped the Nembutal inside.