* August 23rd 2017Parliament in WA resolved to appoint a joint select committee to inquire into the need for laws in Western Australia to allow citizens to make informed choices regarding their own end of life care options. Details are found on the parliament webstite : http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/parliament/commit.nsf/(WebInquiries)/702507C2CB8742824825818700247E53?opendocument
*June 22nd 2017 Dr Alida Lancee was keynote speaker at University Technology of Sydney national Ethics Conference Moral and Ethical Dilemmas in End of life care. watch video here
Bid for voluntary euthanasia in WA
Regina Titelius, PerthNow March 26, 2017 12:00am
NEW Health Minister Roger Cook is calling for euthanasia to be legalised in WA in response to a “growing demand” for terminally ill patients to have the right to end their life. Mr Cook said he supported voluntary euthanasia and wanted the WA public to have a considered and informed debate about law reform.“I support voluntary euthanasia and I think we need to legislate to enable people to take control of their lives in their final stages,” he said.“Any debate in parliament on assisted suicide for terminally ill patients would have to be part of a wider community debate.” Mr Cook said that while the Labor Government would not introduce law reform as part of a policy, it supported individual members to table a private member’s Bill.He said Labor would allow MPs to “exercise a conscience vote on euthanasia”.Labor MLC Alannah MacTiernan and Greens MLC Robin Chapple have been working towards introducing a Bill to allow assisted dying.Mr Cook said he would welcome an inquiry by a parliamentary committee in the lead up to any Bill. Last year, The Sunday Times’ WA Speaks survey of more than 10,000 West Australians showed almost 90 per cent supported voluntary euthanasia.Mr Cook said the tragic death of the former executive director of the WA Cancer Council, 75-year-old Clive Deverall, should not be in vain.Mr Deverall took his life on March 11 after suffering for 20 years from a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His wife, Noreen Fynn, revealed at his funeral on Monday that he had a left a note that said “suicide is legal, euthanasia is not”.Mr Cook said if anything was to be gained “from this very sad event then it should be proactive legislative change”.Ms MacTiernan, who is the new Agriculture Minister, said she would continue her work on law reform for dying with dignity.“I will ensure this legislation is introduced,” she said.
The Celebration of the life of the late Mr Clive Deverall took place this week. A man of great compassion, generosity intelligence and sense of humor who has made a lasting contribution to society through his long term work at the Cancer Council of WA and Palliative Care WA. Please see his last public talk on Feb 5th 2017 here
These words were spoken:
"After being unwell for several years, he took control whilst he still had capacity. The time, on election day, March 11th and place, were no accident. A note he left by his body said: "Suicide is legal ,Euthanasia is not".
We and many others will continue our quest to ensure that a well drafted safeguarded assisted dying legislation is passed in Western Australia.This will allow those who are suffering at the end of their lives to have control and be able to die a gentle death surrounded by family and friends, rather than be forced to take this control and die a lonely death in a manner very distressing for them and their loved ones.
The overall result for the Freedom of choice WA election campaign was excellent.
We helped to boot out many of the extreme religious candidates from the Liberal party with the adverts in the West (see below) and other media coverage.
A huge majority for Labor in the lower house will also ease the way for a bill to be debated and passed. Unfortunately, we lost Tony Simpson but we will hopefully find another Liberal who will help present the Bill in the lower house also. Alannah MacTiernan is confident and determined that she will have an opportunity to co-present an assisted dying Bill in the next 12 months or so. There will of course also be a co-presenter from the WA Greens.
As for the Cottesloe campaign ,I think the awareness is definitely out there and I feel a 6% vote is a good result after a 4 week single issue campaign in a very fixed minded ultra-conservative electorate who do not know me. The Cottesloe campaign was never intended to harvest as many votes as possible as I openly supported the Green and Labor candidates also. It was intended as a platform for an awarenessfor the voting public as well as all candidates that a Bill is on the agenda.
Thank you for all those who helped.
Our next steps are :
- Liaise with Alannah MacTeirnan ,Greens member and Liberal member, DWDWA and Christians for VE Choice to get a working party together to draft the bill which will be based on the Victorian model and adjusted for WA conditions.
- Continue to liaise with the medical profession and make a submission to the Victorian Assisted Dying Bill discussion paper
- Build community support to lobby all elected politicians to represent their electorates before and once we have the bill presented.
- Sunday, February 5, 2017
- 10:00am 11:00am
WOW, we had over 250 guests ,the hall was overflowing. For those who could not be there we will upload the event video by sections the next few days under further information.Or you may be able to catch some footage on TV or the paper, as all the media were there.Thank you very much for Dr Rodney Syme , Prof Max Kamien ,Murray Hindle, Clive Deverall for their important contribution and support.I also acknowledge the contribution by Robin Chapple, Alannah MacTiernan and Tony Simpson.Three compassionate, forward thinking politicians who put party politics aside for the common good of our community.A HUGE Thank you also to MC Verity James for her heartfelt support and introduction of our speakers who are national authorities in their field :
1 Dr Rodney Syme Dr Rodney Syme is a victorian surgeon who has helped many terminally ill patients over the years with compassionate end of life care.He is a tireless campaigner for end of life law reform and president of Dying with Dignity Victoria.He had a breakthrough win with the medical board late last year when it was decided that his prescription of medication for a gentle death for a patient was appropriate and acceptable palliation. Watch his talk here
2 Dr Max KamienDr Max Kamien is Emeritus Professor of general practice at UWA and has a long history of service to the Australian community in the field of general medical practice.He is a widely read author, a leader in general and rural medical education and has been awarded many accolades over his career including Western Australian of the year and the order of Australia.He continues his passion for medicine to this day as a locum doctor for rural and remote locations. His talk can be read here
3 Mr Clive DeverallMr Clive Deverall has dedicated his life to helping the terminally ill.As Executive Director, he was the heart and soul of Cancer Council WA for over twenty years.He was president of Palliative care WA for many years and was awarded the Order of Australia for service to community health, particularly through the promotion of cancer awareness programmes and support services of the Cancer Foundation of Western Australia. Watch his talk here
4 Mr Murray Hindle President Dying with Dignity WA
5Dr Alida Lancee speech here