Freo's View

DYING WITH DIGNITY IS RESPECT FOR HUMANITY

Posted in city of fremantle, health, state government, suicide, Uncategorized by freoview on August 8, 2019

 

Euthanasia

 

The voluntary assisted dying legislation proposed for Western Australia is very important and something I strongly support.

The legislation would allow for people with a terminal illness to be in control and die with dignity and the respect we all deserve.

My oldest sister Marja was euthanised in the Netherlands only a few months ago after an unwinnable battle with cancer of the vagina. It was a very thorough process where she was assessed by different professionals. It took quite some time until her request was approved and she died peacefully at home. I talked to her on Skype till the last moment when the doctor arrived. She felt empowered that she was able to make the decision herself and that the option was available to her.

My father who had suffered from bowel cancer for years was also euthanised some twenty years ago.

Palliative care is important but people need to realise and respect that not everyone wants to prolong their life and the some of us, me included, prefer to leave when we are still in control and not totally dependent on others, who are often strangers.

Doctor assisted dying is so more dignified than having to kill oneself with pills, hanging, jumping in front of a train or truck, slashing one’s wrists, etc. and that regularly happens in our society. Committing suicide is a very stressful, awful and lonely moment where one feels totally abandoned by the world, so assisted dying is a very important choice for us to have

Those who believe in God are not threatened by the new proposed legislation as no one will be forced to euthanise and no medical professional has to assist if they do not wish to do so, but for those of us who have had enough and want the struggle and pain to end doctor assisted dying is a humane option and we should be allowed to have that.

Roel Loopers

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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

END OF LIFE CHOICES FORUM AT NOTRE DAME

Posted in city of fremantle, health, lifestyle, living, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2018

 

NDA forum

 

Fremantle’s Notre Dame University facilitated a very interesting forum about End of life choices on Wednesday evening.

The panel members were Prof. David Kissane-NDA and St Vincent’s Hospital, Dr Richard Lugg-Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice, Dr Murray Hindle-Dying with Dignity WA, Lana Glogowski-Palliative Care WA, and Chris Shanahan-Barrister Murray Chambers.

Prof. David Kissane said the proposed new law was about the right to die rather than offering optimal palliative care, and he expressed concern that mentally ill patients might have access to euthanasia. Palliative care is the real alternative to assisted suicide.

Murray Hindle said it was the right of the individuals to have control over their death, not about better palliative care, and that in a survey 88 per cent had said yes to doctor assisted dying. It is about a person’s right to autonomy.

Lana Glogowski said that palliative care is not well enough resourced by our governments and that people should have a conversation with their family and loved ones about end of life options and what they wanted, and that there needed to be more education about those options.

Dr Richard Lugg said that patients want their care to be compassionate and kind and that the autonomy of the patients comes before the doctor’s-I know best-decision. We want the new law to help, not hinder assisted dying, he said

Lawyer Chris Shanahan said under the current law the patient has the right to consent, the right to self determination, and needs to give consent to medical treatment.

Questions were raised about putting doctors in a difficult position and pressure from family members on patients, but a new law would see no compulsion on doctors to assist dying if they are against it.

End of life options would also be different for different cultures and religions, and most people wanted to die at home and better palliative home care needed to be supported.

It was essential that any new legislation about Voluntary Assisted Dying has to have clarity and lack of ambiguity, and too fast change might overwhelm the community process. We need to respond in a human way.

It was argued that any suffering can be dealt with with drugs and that many people who plea for help are depressed and demoralised and want to die.

The larger part of the community die a good and dignified death and do not suffer.

What was not discussed at all is the reality of many older people dying an undignified and lonely death through suicide, often trough illegally imported drugs, such as Nembutal,  from Mexico and eastern European countries, or they kill themselves in other ways, because the choice of assisted dignified dying is not offered to them under our present legislation in WA.

The euthanasia debate is a very important one, and one we need to have in our community, so it was very good that Notre Dame University accommodated the discussion. Thank you NDA!

Roel Loopers

NOTRE DAME UNI END OF LIFE CHOICES FORUM

Posted in city of fremantle, health, living, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on September 9, 2018

 

Fremantle’s Notre Dame University is holding a very interesting forum on a controversial topic that will interest most people in our community, especially the older ones

‘A Conversation about End of Life Issues: Considerations following the release of the Parliamentary Report by the Joint Committee on End of Life Choices’

Wednesday 19 September | 6.00pm-8.30pm
The University of Notre Dame Australia
Tannock Hall of Education, Corner of Croke and Cliff Streets, Fremantle

End of life care is of great concern to many within our community, particularly those suffering from acute physical illness, or those employed in the medical or healthcare professions. The issue has and is likely to generate a substantial amount of public debate in the coming months given the findings and recommendations of the report from the State Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices in Western Australia.

The University wishes to facilitate a respectful discussion on all relevant aspects to this issue, including palliative care, living wills and euthanasia, so that a range of views and perspectives can be heard. We look forward to seeing you at this important event.

Guest presenters at the forum will include:
Professor David Kissane (The University of Notre Dame Australia and St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney)
Dr Richard Lugg (Department of Health WA and Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice)
Dr Murray Hindle (Dying with Dignity WA)
Ms Lana Glogowski (Palliative Care WA)
Mr Chris Shanahan SC (Barrister, Murray Chambers)

Please register your attendance by Monday 17 September

For further information, please contact Ms Ana Ferreira Manhoso at fremantle.events@nd.edu.au or on 08 9433 0575.

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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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