CONTENTIOUS ISSUE: Community members share their thoughts on the 'right to die' debate.
CONTENTIOUS ISSUE: Community members share their thoughts on the 'right to die' debate. Susanna Freymark

The euthanasia debate: OPINION

THE contentious issue of voluntary euthanasia is up for debate in the NSW Parliament later this year.

We asked community members their thoughts.

Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mullholland

"Voluntary euthanasia is a personal decision. It can be used in the wrong way by evil people but across the board, it gives people the choice to consider issues such as quality of life.

"This is a contentious issue but when people are terminally ill, is it really up to the government to legislate against when they may choose to exit this world, free of pain? I don't believe it is.

"Alternatively, people euthanise themselves through suicide which can have devastating effects on a family. By offering them the choice of euthanasia, it can be discussed with family members beforehand and people can exit this life with the dignity they deserve."

Former Express editor Janelle McLennan

"I have watched my father and a beloved friend die agonising deaths as a result of cancer.

"Both experienced intolerable indignities and were in extreme pain which could only be managed by increasingly large doses of morphine - a drug which numbed the pain but also their minds.

"Before his death, Dad said he hated 'the lingering' and the pain he and, as a consequence, the family had to endure.

"If given the opportunity, I'm not sure if either Dad or my friend would have chosen euthanasia, but I vehemently believe they should have had the right to make the choice."

Casino's Neale Genge

"While I believe in the sanctity of human life I believe that a person has the right to make individual choices about their own life.

"If a person's quality of life has deteriorated to such a state that their life is no longer worth living, and they are able to make a decision while of sound mind (or they have previously indicated their wishes) then euthanasia should be an option available to the individual.

"It's illogical that we treat our pets and animals with greater compassion in their moments of life, yet don't allow that for our loved ones."



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