Dr Philip Nitschke
Dr Philip Nitschke Barry Leddicoat

Voluntary euthanasia discussed

LAST night around 60 interested local people gathered at the Ballina RSL Club for a forum on euthanasia and a proposed legislation on the issue.

The Dying With Dignity: Your Right to Chose? forum, hosted by Greens MP Cate Faehrmann in conjunction with the not-for-profit organisation Dying With Dignity, saw Foundation Professor of Aged Services at Southern Cross University, Colleen Cartwright, and Dr Philip Nitschke, the first physician in the world to administer a legal lethal voluntary injection to four terminally ill patients in 1996, take the stage to discuss the controversial and sensitive issue.

Ms Faerhmann explained the proposed legislation that she is sponsoring in the NSW Parliament, The Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill.

"I am confident that all questions should be answered by this bill," she said.

"There are so many stringent safeguards in it (this bill)."

"If you want to make legislation for people to die, for goodness sake, you better get it right," she agreed.

The Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill would ensure that a patient who has a terminal illness and who is experiencing unacceptable pain or suffering can receive assistance to end their life if that is their wish.

This assistance would take the form of the provision of a substance that the patient themselves would administer, or, in the case of severe physical disability, be provided assistance to administer.

To find out more, visit dwdnsw.org.au or catefaehrmann.org or read tomorrows issue of The Northern Star



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