Australia’s euthanasia “Doctor Death” Phillip Nitschke has returned to Australia from “his travelling roadshow” overseas, just in time for the introduction of a bill in the Tasmanian parliament “to legalise assisted suicide”, according to Tim Cannon’s article (News Weekly, June 13).
Many elderly Australians, who are in great fear of severe suffering at the end of their lives, want to learn Nitschke’s macabre ways of killing themselves. They are promised it will be painless and that they can kill themselves with the assistance of others but without breaking the rule of law.
They are not aware that excellent palliative care is available. In light of this, federal and state parliaments could do something far more positive for elderly people in this predicament and, as Tim Cannon, suggests, “take their concerns seriously by acknowledging the importance of end-of life care”.
Such care could include better nursing homes as well as spiritual support and counselling, not only for the elderly and sick but for their families as well.