News

His choice to live or die

EXIT SUPPORTER: Goonellabah man Glen Aspinall, who suffers from a terminal illness, attended an Exit International information session presented in Lismore yesterday by voluntary euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke.
EXIT SUPPORTER: Goonellabah man Glen Aspinall, who suffers from a terminal illness, attended an Exit International information session presented in Lismore yesterday by voluntary euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke. Cathy Adams

GLEN ASPINALL has planned his death.

The terminally ill 58-year-old believes everyone has the right to choose when and how they want to go.

Which is why he keeps at home the means to take his own life.

Mr Aspinall, of Goonellabah, joined voluntary euthanasia group Exit International four years ago when he was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a chronic bone marrow disease that stops the body from producing red blood cells.

He is kept alive by fortnightly blood transfusions, which in turn cause an iron overload in his system.

“If my condition was to decline slowly, I would have the option of picking some time when I felt that I was still able to end my life without the assistance of others,” he said.

Mr Aspinall watched his mother die slowly and painfully four years ago, and his father succumb to cancer 30 years ago.

“I wouldn't wish that on anybody,” he said.

Partly because of these experiences, he has little time for 'right-to-life' advocates.

“I think it's appalling these people can thrust their views on other people when we should all be free to live our own lives and choose our own method of ending it,” he said.

Mr Aspinall was one of about 50, mainly elderly, people who yesterday attended an Exit International public meeting and workshop at the Lismore Workers Sports Club.

Exit International founder and world-renowned voluntary euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke plotted the history of the movement, the legal context, and the high-profile suicides he assisted when the practice was briefly legalised in the Northern Territory in the mid-1990s.

After the meeting he invited people interested in learning about practical suicide measures to join Exit International and participate in a workshop.

His Lismore meeting was the second-last stop in a month-long tour of retirement areas on the NSW and Queensland coastlines.

“Most of our members are 75 to 80 years old,” Dr Nitschke said.

He didn't get depressed by talking constantly about death, and was opposed to a culture he describes as 'seriously death-denying'.

“You get quite inspired and uplifted by the elderly folk who see this as quite a practical approach,” he said.



VIDEO: Lennox Head Ski Jump plans axed

Protesters find out the State Government has decided against a Ski Jump at Lennox Head.

Decision delivered to residents at protest on Saturday.

Run of woes impact on Lismore Base

Westpac Rescue Helicopter at Lismore Base Hospital.

New allegations another hit for major regional hospital

'Hunted like game': nude beach creeps prompt calls for safety

Residents have made calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to local police.

Calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to the local police

Local Partners

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Comedy production hits Rochdale stage

Thoroughly relishing their roles as the three crotchety old veterans (performed by Co Gray Wilson, Jason Smith and John Taylor), they provide fascinating individual insights into three proud men who despite their frailties are determined be adventurous and joyful to the end.

Heroes is a comedy play by Gerald Sibleyras.

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

DUO: Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their hit show Women Like Us to Nimbin.

Hit comedy show heading towards Nimbin

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!