Freo's View

THANK THE LAW MY SISTER DIED WITH DIGNITY

 

Last night our time my oldest sister Marja died in the Netherlands. She was euthanised.

I am not sharing this with you because of narcissism but because the Western Australian government also want to legalise doctor assisted dying and I believe that is a very humane intent. There are community information sessions and community consultation and a very long online survey that took me 20 minutes, but is worth doing.

I am so grateful that my sister died in her own bed in her own home and with dignity and that she had plenty of time to receive family and friends and say goodbye.

The process she had to go through was lengthy and very thorough before an expert committee decided that she was eligible for euthanasia.

Legalising assisted dying is about giving people a choice instead of forcing them to commit suicide in awful and very lonely ways. It should not be politicised or being kidnapped by religious leaders.

There is no threat to religious or cultural values. No one can be forced to be euthanised and neither can doctors be forced to administer it. In my sister’s case her new doctor-the old one had retired-told her it was too early in his young career to feel comfortable assisting her so she was referred to an older colleague.

My sister Marja was assessed on her health and mental health by different practitioners who wrote reports which were considered by an independent panel. There was nothing easy or flippant about that process and not at all what some panel members at last year’s Notre Dame university forum claimed.

Call me an old cynic, but it comes as no surprise to me that the billion dollar age care industry and the billion dollar palliative care industry are against euthanasia, and so are those who believe that only a god can take a life. For those of us who are not religious the promise of heaven, paradise or nirvana is irrelevant, but euthanasia is our pragmatic and humane choice if life is coming to a painful, slow and unstoppable end. We don’t let animals suffer, so why not apply the same compassion to human beings.

It is astounding how unprepared we are for death. It is the elephant in the room that not many people want to talk about. We are not taught how to deal with it, so at the end we try to deal with it the best we can with empathy. I was lucky to be able to Skype with my sister often over the last couple of months and that was good for both of us.

Marja was just three years older than I am and was always there for me. She had inoperable cancer. I am so grateful that she was allowed to die with dignity. All her pain and worries are now over.

Roel Loopers

LET’S BE COMPASSIONATE ABOUT EUTHANASIA

Posted in fremantle, health, humanity, state government, western australia by freoview on March 26, 2017

Good to hear that the new WA Health Minister Roger Cook is saying that we need to have a community discussion about voluntary euthanasia in Western Australia.

Euthanasia has got nothing to do with religion or any of the gods people believe in but it is about humanity and dying with dignity.

We don’t allow animals to suffer and euthanise them when they no longer have a good quality of life, but we do keep people alive who should be able to decide if they want to go because the suffering is unbearable and there is no hope of recovery.

A Sunday Times survey last year found that nearly 90 per cent of Western Australians support voluntary euthanasia, and I do too!

Roel Loopers

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THERE IS HOPE BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE ARE GOOD!

Posted in environment, fremantle, future, humanity, people by freoview on December 21, 2016

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Christmas is a time of reflection and hope and with so much madness going on in the world we need to remain hopeful that we will be able to turn the destruction of the earth and oceans around and that there will be a good future for the next generations.

Humans do have the ability to stand up in adversity and make necessary changes. We have survived natural disasters and wars all over the planet many times and we can do it again if sanity prevails and if our political leaders become true leaders instead of being power hungry egos only interested in winning the next election.

It is shocking to see the destruction of Aleppo and other places of war and the plight of all these innocent people. It violates my heart to see the idiocy of terrorism and attacks on families because some fanatical criminals believe the god they believe in is better than the gods of other people.

But I remain confident about the future because my own experience with people of all different cultures and religions all over the world has shown that the vast majority of people are good and caring people who are willing to embrace and support fellow humans in need.

We cannot give up hope during the tsunami of madness that is happening and that has made 2016 such a challenging year. We cannot blame all Muslims for the actions of a small group of sadistic criminals, as we do not blame all Catholics for those priests who have abused children. Hatred will not solve anything and neither does blaming all for the crimes of some.

We need to learn the lessons of the past and become more responsible in looking after our planet because the environmental destruction is relentless above and below ground. We are suffocating our oceans while destroying our forests, because we want more and more and more, and that is not sustainable.

Innovation technology will help us to become smarter but our relentless consumerism needs to be curtailed because the environment is suffering because of it.

We need more tolerance and less judgment in our world and more acceptance of diversity. Culture, religion and the colour of someone’s skin are not reasons to reject people and we need to assess every individual on its own merits. There are bad apples in every family, in every country, in every race, religion and culture, but we must keep in mind that most people are good and caring.

I love life because I love people. I love the irreverence, the intelligence, the quirkiness and the true warmth of people and I love it that we are all so different but also so much the same. A big black fella in Fitzroy Crossing summed it all up perfectly for me one night when he looked at me and said “Isn’t it amazing brother that we both have red blood and brown shit.”

Have a very Happy Christmas. Smile at and say G’day to a stranger. Believe in yourself and all of us that we can and will create a better future for all where the poor are less poor and the rich a bit less rich. True equality will only happen if we look after each other better.

Roel Loopers

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