Moya Jackson and her husband Mark Herron have been pushing to get voluntary assisted dying legalised in Queensland for many years, but the passionate advocates had their world turned upside down when Moya received a devastating diagnosis. Picture: Mike Knott.
Moya Jackson and her husband Mark Herron have been pushing to get voluntary assisted dying legalised in Queensland for many years, but the passionate advocates had their world turned upside down when Moya received a devastating diagnosis. Picture: Mike Knott.

'How are you going to let me die?': Emotions high at meeting

EMOTIONS ran high at Bundaberg's recent Dying With Dignity meeting after a local resident opened up, sharing her own personal heartbreak.

Moya Jackson and her husband Mark Herron are some of the well-known faces who have been pushing to get voluntary assisted dying legalised in Queensland for many years.

But the passionate advocates had their world turned upside down when Moya received a devastating diagnosis.

 

DYING WITH DIGNITY: Moya Jackson and Mark Herron.
DYING WITH DIGNITY: Moya Jackson and Mark Herron.

 

She was told that she had pancreatic cancer and if that wasn't enough, she is the same age her brother was when he was diagnosed with the same illness that took his life.

Full of emotion, Moya sought answers from incumbent Member for Bundaberg David Batt at the DWD meeting last week.

"I wasn't going to say this but I joined this group two and a half years ago as a result of my brother dying from pancreatic cancer and watching him suffer," Ms Jackson said.

"So I want to know how you think I should die because I now have pancreatic cancer and I know my life doesn't look great from here, so I just need to know - how are you going to let me die?"

 

HEARTBREAKING REALITY: Seven pairs of shoes were laid out on the day to represent the number of terminally ill people who take their own lives each month in Queensland, in a bid to stop severe suffering. Picture: Rhylea Millar.
HEARTBREAKING REALITY: Seven pairs of shoes were laid out on the day to represent the number of terminally ill people who take their own lives each month in Queensland, in a bid to stop severe suffering. Picture: Rhylea Millar.

 

Despite requests from numerous attendees at the meeting, the MP refused to share his personal view on the matter, saying if any future bill was tabled and debated, he would be voting based on what the bill contained and the views of his constituents.

"Very sad. I'm not sure how you're going to die and I don't know if you do right now either - I don't think anyone knows how they are going to die," Mr Batt said.

"I think I've given you something - hopefully you've taken it on board … if you like it or don't like it, that's up to yourselves, but I think that's where I'm going to finish up because I'm not going into what ifs and (you're) trying to make me feel bad."

Ms Jackson said she was not trying to make the MP feel bad but she knows what "pancreatic cancer looks like" and she did not want her "guts to be spewing up" while her loved ones watched on.

"No, I think you are (trying to make me feel bad) and that's disappointing," Mr Batt said.

"I've had lots of my family die in really bad circumstances as well and I wish I could have done it in a better way, but that's not what I'm here for, so thanks for your time and my office is open anytime anyone wants to have a chat."

 

David Batt attended the recent Dying With Dignity meeting in Bundaberg.
David Batt attended the recent Dying With Dignity meeting in Bundaberg.

 

The NewsMail requested a response from the Bundaberg MP but he declined to comment further on the matter.

Labor candidate Tom Smith and Ian Zunker from the Legalise Cannabis Queensland Party were unable to attend the meeting due to other commitments.