Dr Syme response to Inquiry Report

Dr Syme response to Inquiry Report

By Dr Rodney Syme

The Victorian Upper House Committee of Inquiry into End of Life Choices produced an excellent report last year, which recommended that the government legislate for assisted dying with appropriate safeguards. The only disappointing aspect of the parliamentary report was the recommendation assistance in dying only be available to people who were within “weeks or months” of dying. The other determinant was that the person was suffering from “a serious and incurable condition which is causing enduring and unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner the patient deems tolerable”. A fundamental difficulty for the expert ministerial advisory panel, appointed by the Victorian government to help convert this recommendation into legislation during 2017, is that these two conditions are in conflict in two fundamental ways.

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Dr Rodney Syme, has recently had an essay published in the Griffith Law Journal titled ‘A Personal Experience With Suffering Patients’. As a practiced physician and end-of-life counsellor, the manudcript speaks about Dr Syme’s commitment to respecting the dignity and autonomy of his patients. Ultimately, he requests that we privilege a patient’s right to control their death over our blind preference for the preservation of a painful life. Click for a PDF for the full article extracted from GRIFFITH JOURNAL OF LAW & HUMAN DIGNITY Volume 4(2) 2016 – Published in December 2016, Gold Coast, Australia by the Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity ISSN: 2203-3114 – Griffith-Uni-publication-Syme-895-3431-1-PB