Canada is doing it and Chile’s considering it…so why aren’t we? 8



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In the last few weeks, Canada announced something very important: they have made euthanasia legal. At a time when our country has ignored our own peoples’ pleas to die, is it time again to start talking about how we can follow in the North American country’s footsteps?

One country that isn’t looking likely to bow despite a very heartbreaking case is Chile. This week, Chilean girl Valentina Maureira called on her president, Michelle Bachelet to authorise the injection to put her asleep forever. She launched an emotional Facebook plea to ask for her government to give her the right to die, the 14-year-old is suffering from cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects breathing and usually results in a lung transplant and/or early death.

The Chilean president was very moved by Valentina’s story and spent some time with her this week, however has still said she cannot assist Valentina. If Valentina was in Canada, she would now be able to die if that was what she wanted.

In a unanimous decision, the Canadian Supreme Court created a new right in their constitution that allows anyone who has an irremediable medical condition to terminate their life. Interesting, the ruling does not only grant those with a terminal illness the right to right, but also adults with an illness, disease, or disability that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual…which also includes psychological pain.What would it be like if we implemented this in Australia?

So what is an irremediable condition? In the new radical social policy that Canada has approved, a treatable condition can actually qualify as irremediable if the patient does not want to pursue remedies that are available, i.e. the patient would rather die than receive care. This means someone with diabetes, HIV, heart disease, cancer and so on can decide not to take medication, qualifying them the right to be euthanised.

The only problem then is that while this can help so many people who are suffering, there are some doctors who did not agree with the ruling, however they may be forced to euthanise as part of their job, or pass it on to someone else who will. It’s a moral minefield…what do you think?

As the NSW election approaches at the end of the month, talk is now turning to who we will vote for and, according to an article by SMH, members of Dying with Dignity NSW have been writing to their local MPs, asking for their view on voluntary assisted dying. Should we vote based on what MPs think about this important issue? Given that public support for euthanasia in Australia is around 80 per cent, the answer might be yes.

What do you think? Why do you think that our governments don’t want to talk about euthanasia when our closest allies are? Tell us whether you support it below.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. would like to have a choice if my illness was terminal ,we don’t let our pets sufer so why do we

  2. Dying with dignity should be a given, a God given right to, stop their suffering, why prolong agony!

  3. The Doctors here will never allow euthenasia . Their patients are cash cows and as long as they keep them alive they can bleed their cash and assets . I had a friend had terminal cancer .sbe begged them to let her die .but they kept her alive till she had sold everything she owned .and when all her money had been spent on palative care and her bank account exhausted and her pension inadequate to cover her medical bills .then they allowed her to die .

    1 REPLY
    • I think that’s a bit harsh, Ian. Would you like to me a doctor who ended someone’s life? I’m sure there are many who wouldn’t want to be obliged to do it, and others who could accommodate it.

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  4. I completely agree with euthenasia as long as two separate doctors have had discussions with the person involved and agree there is no hope of a cure. To see the people with alzheimers, ms, cancer etc who have no quality of life and just want to be out of pain is heartbreaking.
    I have been through it with several people including currently my 89 yr old mother who tries to cope with visiting her husband who doesnt recognise her and bears no resemblance to the man she married in his comments, (thats when he can talk) incontinent, has to wear nappies, cant walk, spent his life on the land in the open air, mainly on a horses back and now he is confined to a lay back chair which he cant get out of. I could go on and on how bad it is for him, but he is unaware and it is killing my Mother. She has begged me to get her a heap of sleeping tablets so she can fix herself up. Neither of them have ANY quality of life at all. Just pain, mental and physical.
    Bring on euthenasia.

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