Andrew Denton takes action so you can ‘go gently’

If you’ve long supported a person’s right to decide when their time is up, Andrew Denton’s got your back. The

If you’ve long supported a person’s right to decide when their time is up, Andrew Denton’s got your back.

The broadcaster-turned-euthanasia campaigner is launching Go Gently Australia, an organisation that will lobby Australian politicians to do what the majority of voters want — pass laws that allow voluntary assisted dying.

Denton says opinion polls consistently reveal up to 80 per cent of Australians want the laws.

“Under Australian law it is legal to jump in front of a train to end your life,” Denton says.

“You can shoot yourself with a nail gun. You can starve yourself to death in a hospital… But you can’t request medical assistance to pass away peacefully with your family by your side — even if you are terminally ill and dying anyway.”

Denton is passionate about this subject, and he has every right to be. He says the agonising death of his father, Kit, is a “scarring memory” that prompted him to travel the world researching euthanasia.

“Dad had a heart attack in his 50s, he had spinal problems from a parachuting accident when he was in the Army and he had a thing called polyarthritis, which meant arthritis of everywhere,” Denton told The Australian Women’s Weekly in April 2016.

However, Denton says it was the final few months of his father’s life that Kit really suffered in an unbearable way.

“My father was rushed to hospital. In those last three days, once he’d slipped into a com, it was clear that the pain relief they gave him wasn’t enough and my sisters, mother and I were on constant watch with him.

“Throughout that time, my abiding memory is of these spasms and waves of pain going through his body. He was flinching and he was buckling… Then, at the end, it was a violent series of spasm. It was as if something had crawled inside him and was tearing him apart from the inside.

“It was horrible to watch and it was horrible to hear…” Denton says.

He says Go Gently Australia will first focus on South Australia and Victoria, which are considering assisted dying laws, and he will address the National Press Club in Canberra on August 10.

What is your opinion on legislating voluntary assisted dying? Tell us your story.

  1. This is and always will be, a no-brainer. Anyone who has endured watching and experiencing the painful death of a loved one will agree – we need the law changed. It is uncontionable to allow a terminal patient to be tortured when it’s not necessary. Peace and dignity is just as vital to us us all in death, as it is in life.

    • J Easther  

      I agree, it is time we stood up to these Government laws. We help our pets die when in pain, why can’t we die with dignity.

  2. Margaret Palisi  

    Totally agree with this. We should be able to pass without pain and with dignity. It should be a “considered” solution if you are terminal and/or suffering. We show animals kindness and should show humans the same.

  3. I feel passionate about this. The law that exists does not allow a person pass on without all the suffering. I believe the difficulty of working out which pain medication actually works for the specific person is ridiculous. During that period of time the suffering is unacceptable. Good on you Andrew.

    • gerda lesson  

      I agree wat a beautiful way to go with fam by your side my sisters wend that way in holl. Whiteout pain

  4. Christine  

    Definitely agree with Andrew. Watching someone go through the pain is heart wrenching

  5. Michelle Bloomfield  

    After watching my mother and F.I.L suffer horrendously to leave this earth, (within 6 weeks of one an other), a beautiful 32 year old niece in pain so unimaginable, my faith in Dr’s who say “to cause no pain” be totally be seen as bulls…t. For a priest to say that “we fight to enter this world, and it is Gods wish that we should have to fight leave it. We as a society keep saying we need empathy, so why can it not be applied in cases like this. I hope Andrew Denton can get our leaders to see this. I have watched him speak on this for a while now, and he is brilliant.

    • Karen  

      Lets face it priests have no credibility on what us right and wrong

  6. Andrew I drive the aged and affirmed around for a living and you have my total support I hear the stories from these people about the suffering they have to go through or their spouses are going through I feel so sad at times that they are not allowed to bring a closure for their partners.

  7. Ann Hannan  

    Really passionate about this subject I would like the final say over my life my body. My loved ones should not be put through distress of watching me suffer.

  8. I am all for this we would never wish this on any human being but the law would change if those so called do gooders were to be put in this position with one of their loved ones let’s hope the see the light before this happens to them

  9. Jill Mayhead  

    I support Andrew Denton all the way. I had to watch my darling step father suffer and he said he wanted to go, but we could not help him, so he stopped taking everything. He is now at peace with his darling wife, my mother, and soulmate.

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