Death is inevitable. It is something that binds us all regardless of race, colour or creed. How we die, however, is something that makes us all unique. Some of us will die in our sleep, some will die due to traumatic causes, some may experience a massive heart attack, stroke or even a terminal illness such as Cancer. One thing for certain is that we all want to die with dignity and as much as possible, pain free.
I applaud the Victorian Labor Andrews Government for passing legislation this week to legalise Euthanasia. It is important that those who have a terminal illness to have options when it comes to their own life. It is a basic human right that we all die with dignity, unfortunately in certain circumstance this cannot occur as death is unpredictable and unforgiving. When it comes to terminal illnesses such as Cancer, this can be predicted and given the harsh outcomes of cancer such as pain, immobility and deterioration of mental status it is imperative that we respect ones wishes to end their life before these outcomes become reality.
Some people argue that we should not get involved in being God, that palliative care measures should be the prime focus when it comes to terminal illness. Unfortunately no matter how good palliative care is, sometimes you just can’t relieve pain. Pain doesn’t necessarily mean physical but also mental. If one becomes bed bound due to their terminal illness and they need a carer to clean them or feed them through a peg tube, this is a form of mental pain. Many individuals who have had cancer and are in this state have told me that they wish they could go to sleep and never wake up because their dignity is long gone, they can no longer look after themselves, they can no longer enjoy what life can offer them. Many of them have said they are just an existence.
As a Conservative I do understand some peoples concerns that there could be loopholes which could see family members of individuals pushing euthanasia to be able to obtain whatever is in ones Will. Many Conservatives are concerned about the slippery slope, if you legalise euthanasia on terminal ill patients then those with chronic mental health issues will be next. This is where Conservatives need to have a constructive debate on this issue rather than shutting it down. We often complain about the left shutting down debate, Conservatives are effectively doing the same when it comes to Euthanasia.
This is an issue which affects more people than same sex marriage yet for some reason the same sex marriage debate is hijacking this important issue. People have a right to die with dignity. People should have an option if they are terminally ill to end their life how they see fit with assistance from the medical profession to ensure that the practice is regulated and that suffering is not prolonged. Conservatives can play a vital role to ensure that loopholes in which they are worried about are water tight. Australia we can have this debate and we can work together in making this happen.