Hon­our­ing mum’s dy­ing wish

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By LISA THOMAS

A PERTH woman has penned a let­ter to the State Gov­ern­ment ap­peal­ing for them to take a vol­un­tary eu­thana­sia Bill to Par­lia­ment.

Kirsty Holmes watched her mother die from cancer last week af­ter a 12-year bat­tle with the dis­ease, which she re­ceived treat­ment for at St John of God Su­bi­aco Hospi­tal.

She said her mum had fought breast, bone and liver cancer and her dy­ing wish was to see vol­un­tary eu­thana­sia le­galised in WA.

Miss Holmes is hop­ing she will be able to make that wish come true.

“Mum couldn’t eat, drink or even hold a con­ver­sa­tion for the last four days of her life,” she said.

“She begged me to talk to the nurses to help end her pain. She was in ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain and was drugged so heav­ily that she barely knew what was go­ing on.

“There was ab­so­lutely no chance of sur­vival for mum. We all had to wait for days, sim­ply wait­ing for a phone call, all the while know­ing that she was in so much pain just beg­ging for life to end.”

Miss Holmes said she wrote the let­ter to Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett to help other fam­i­lies in the same po­si­tion.

“At the very least, I would like it to be dis­cussed in Par­lia­ment again, whether that is lo­cally or na­tion­ally,” she said. “For all of their fam­ily and friends to have to wait side-by-side, watch­ing their loved ones go down­hill and slowly die a hor­ri­ble and painful death, it’s not fair.

“I want to save an­other fam­ily the suf­fer­ing and pain that mine went through.”

Mr Bar­nett said it was very dif­fi­cult to pass laws in the area.

“Most peo­ple be­lieve pal­lia­tive care and treat­ment of some­one in their last days is a mat­ter for the fam­ily and lo­cal doc­tor,” he said.

“It was last de­bated in the Par­lia­ment in 2010. It is a sen­si­tive is­sue; my own view is it is best left up to the fam­ily and the med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers. If you start to leg­is­late for eu­thana­sia, you get into an ab­so­lute mine­field.”

Op­po­si­tion Health spokesman Roger Cook said he per­son­ally sup­ported vol­un­tary eu­thana­sia.

“I’m a sup­porter of vol­un­tary eu­thana­sia, in which peo­ple make their own de­ci­sion when they are ter­mi­nally ill or in pain, about whether or not they want to con­tinue on,” he said.

“I hate the thought of peo­ple per­sist­ing or sub­sist­ing with life when it’s un­pleas­ant, when it is un­nec­es­sary and when they are clearly dy­ing or in pain.

“I think as a so­ci­ety we should be brave enough to deal with th­ese is­sues.”

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