Have your say on dying with dignity
LOSING a loved one is the hardest thing anyone will have to experience in their lifetime.
So when legalities force you to watch them suffer, sometimes for months on end, that grieving process is extended and made all the more harder.
Dying With Dignity met yesterday to discuss the upcoming public hearing in Bundaberg on July 16.
In addition to submitting letters to parliament and signing petitions to legalise voluntary assisted dying in Queensland, Val Manning and Barbara Mickman, along with many other locals, will attend the inquiry.
"We're all here because we've watched someone we love suffer,” Ms Manning said.
"It's a huge problem and death is a huge part of life for all of us, so why make it long and drawn out?
"My husband had acute myeloid leukaemia, he was 74 years old and they told him he would only last three to six months, but he lasted seven.
"The last three days were so unnecessary and watching him slowly and painfully die, with our son beside him, I will never forget that experience.
"By the end, I could not recognise the person lying in that bed and that was not my husband, he was already gone.
"And those new Victorian laws, you've got to be practically dead to access them because there are so many variables.”
These stories are common, many leaving a permanent scar on the families who witness the deteriorating health of the person they once called their partner, sibling or parent.
"My mum was diagnosed with secondary liver cancer because they didn't find the primary,” Ms Mickman said.
"Dad and I visited her every single day and I would think, 'How many more times am I going to have to do this? How many more times am I going to have to say goodbye?'
"My mum was a kind and beautiful person and she didn't deserve to go that way.
"All the people sitting in this room right now, supporting this, they've only got good intentions.”
Dying With Dignity is calling for people who are concerned or passionate about aged care, palliative care or voluntary assistance with dying to help towards a solution.
Locals are encouraged to reserve their seat to attend the hearing and nominate themselves to give a three-minute speech on the issue.
Due to limited time, speakers should reflect on their personal experience briefly and focus on what they want the government to action. Specific requests should be outlined, such as the option to perform self-administration so the individual can spend their final moments at home with family.
If you would like to reserve your seat or speak at the hearing, call (07)35536626 or 1800504022 or register at qldparlcomm.snapforms.com .au/form/bundaberg.