It’s a topic that is guaranteed to divide opinion as people struggle to see eye to eye over the issue of voluntary assisted dying, with many arguing it is the most humane thing to do while others believe it constitutes state-sanctioned suicide.
Now Studio 10 host Joe Hildebrand has put thrown his hat in the ring and revealed why he believes euthanasia should never be legalised in Australia.
The Network Ten star penned a passionate opinion piece for News.com.au in which he appeared to put forward a logical argument for euthanasia before flipping his stance, saying: “The problem with euthanasia isn’t that it doesn’t make sense. The problem is that it does.”
Hildebrand said that while he envies the bravery of the people who choose to end their life through euthanasia – as well as those, including doctors, who assist them and others who instead choose to soldier on – voluntary assisted dying is “a deed best done discreetly”.
“Once you set a threshold for the expendability of a human life it is impossible not to think people who reach that threshold will measure their worth against it,” he said. “Death is always an option but that doesn’t mean it should be government policy.”
However, despite his arguments against the legalisation of euthanasia, the TV personality revealed that someone dear to him has already asked him to “take care of them” when the time comes, and also admitted he wouldn’t hesitate to ask the same of someone else when his own time is near.
“To be honest, someone I love deeply has asked me to take care of them when the time comes and if they were to insist I would do so regardless of the law,” he added. “I will probably also end up asking someone to do the same for me.
“But that is a very different thing to the government effectively defining the worth of a life or the point at which it may legally be taken away, even if it is done with the finest of intentions.”
Other high profile names have publicly pledged their support to legalise voluntary assisted dying, including well-known TV and newspaper political pundit Graham Richardson, who’s cared for by his wife Amanda after having his stomach, bowel and rectum removed in 2016 to save him from cancer.
Richo, as the former Labor minister for the Hawke and Keating governments is known, wrote an impassioned opinion piece in The Australian late last year about the fact that he expects to have to make a choice on when to end his life.
He said he would prefer to have the power to do so when he wishes, rather than have a doctor “make a decision and increase my dose of morphine until it’s over”.