WHY I WANT TO DIE
By ZOE SATHERLEY
YVONNE HAINES is wracked with pain and just wants to die with dignity.
The 67-year-old Shaws Bay woman, who suffers from a debilitating incurable illness, has already tried to end her life five times.
Yesterday, she was one of about 50 people who turned up at the Lismore Workers Club to hear controversial pro-euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke's ideas on taking control over death.
"People must be allowed the right to choose how and when they die if they are of sound mind and are in terrible suffering," Dr Nitschke said.
Dr Nitschke gave very explicit instructions on how to end your life using a variety of options, including manufacturing your own 'peaceful pill' ? a barbiturate that can kill within minutes.
Yvonne, who has a rare condition called chronic complex regional pain syndrome, said she had already suffered the humiliation and defeat of trying to unsuccessfully end her life and was sick of being alive.
Her crippling condition, which followed an injury to her hand, has no cure and causes continuous, intense burning pain and swelling, which gets worse rather than better over time.
She needs help with many facets of personal care which she finds demeaning and degrading.
Yvonne said her most recent attempt at ending her life ? going into the surf after a medication overdose ? was thwarted by her partner, who had unexpectedly rescued her.
"I came here today to learn how I could end my life without once again failing in the attempt," she said.
"I have had this extremely painful condition for 15 years and I am on high doses of morphine to control the pain, but it doesn't take it away.
"People who haven't lived with chronic pain have no idea what it's like. My life is a nightmare and it's getting worse every day. I've just had enough."