CONCERNED about 'end of life choices', N. Matthews (Stirling Times, opinion, page 9, March 20) asked, “Do we want to promote suicide as the best option for relieving suffering to our young men and women, boys and girls?”.
The question invites outrage. “Surely not!”.
But this arises from misunderstanding the intentions of those who are seeking changes to WA law to allow voluntary assisted dying.
Some people make 'end of life choices' when they smoke or drink heavily or take illicit drugs regularly or drive at dangerously high speeds.
They're able to do so.
But some people who are nearing the end of their life with some chronic debilitating disease are not allowed to instruct their doctor to help them to a quick and peaceful death once they reach a point of severe suffering and have lost their normal capacity to communicate or perhaps their capacity for rational thinking and decision making.
Similarly, some people with end stage terminal illness and extreme pain that cannot be reliably moderated by palliative care doctors are not allowed to determine that their life will be gently and respectfully brought to a close after fond farewells in the presence of caring loved ones or friends.
These are emotional issues, but please let’s stick with actual proposals rather than make knee jerk reactions against vague generalisations.
Let's harness our energy to promote many other ways of compassionately addressing the various kinds of suffering that young people may be experiencing.
(REVEREND) KEN DEVEREUX, Dianella