Palliative care pioneer’s death was a message
75-year-old Clive Deverall, took his life on March 11 after suffering for two decades from a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As head of the Cancer Council of WA for more than two decades and a former President of Palliative Care WA, Deverell was on first-name terms with many of the state’s senior doctors and politicians. He had worked tirelessly to set up palliative care services in the state. Deverall’s final violent act on the day of the WA election was done in a public place where he knew his body would be found quickly and by his side he had left a note, which ended: “Suicide is legal, euthanasia is not.”
His wife, Noreen Fynn, told the ABC that Clive’s death was “no accident. It was a message.” “If there had been voluntary euthanasia legislation, Clive would still be here,” she says, her soft voice inflected by a faint trace of her African birthplace. “He would have known that he had the ability at a later date to pick up a drink of some sort [to end his life]. He wouldn’t have needed to do what he did. He went far too early, and to me that was a real tragedy.” she said.
Clive Deverall gave his Last public talk at the ‘Freedom of Choice WA’ Launch on 5 February 2017 (7.41 mins)