Bill offers some dignity

15 Nov 2017 Seymour Telegraph, Seymour VIC (General News) (The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill) if introduced, will allow an extra dimension for consideration by and on behalf of those who are dying. It is good to hear Jaclyn Symes and Steph Ryan voicing their concerns, but where are the voices of the olds? What are their opinions? For those of us who are in at least our eighth decade, it is an issue of great concern. One hears the specious argument that because we did not ask to be here in this world we have no right to determine when we leave it. Leaving any religious implications aside, that argument assumes that it is the duty of we olds to hang in there, possibly despite suffering and misery, until our inevitable final gasp. But what if that final gasp is preceded by constant dreadful pain, and the only acceptable alternative is stupefying drug doses (palliation) which leave a still-living body unconscious and barely functioning, with no way back except into that uncontrollable pain? This bill is not a licence to kill. Its a licence to allow a diagnosed terminal sufferer (as diagnosed by doctors) an inevitable and dignified death when the alternative is prolonged suffering for the patient and the loved ones. Lee Stephenson, Kerrisdale Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.