THIS IS­SUE MUST BE DEALT WITH

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

EUTHANASIA is an emo­tive and di­vi­sive is­sue. Perth doc­tor Al­ida Lancee re­vealed she helped end the life of a woman in her 80s, who was dy­ing of em­phy­sema, with a lethal in­jec­tion of painkiller. Dr Lancee has treated both my wife and my daugh­ter and is a thor­ough and ded­i­cated fam­ily GP. It must be an is­sue that has weighed heav­ily on her. She was very brave to speak out – she has al­ready had a visit from homi­cide de­tec­tives. Medicine has ad­vanced to a point where doc­tors can keep you alive well af­ter the qual­ity of life has gone. Doc­tors use mor­phine to “com­fort” dy­ing pa­tients and some­times the dose has to be in­creased to a lethal level. Peo­ple who have seen loved ones in aged care or pal­lia­tive care at “the end stage” of life usu­ally think it is a blessed re­lease. But where does it cross the line into il­le­gal­ity? It is the ele­phant in the room and it is time we dealt with it.

Rick Lee - re­gional ed­i­tor

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