My name is Adriana and I am a resident of Hobart. My grandmother was diagnosed with a terminal illness (Multiple myeloma). This was a nasty illness and naturally involved specialist visits and a few hospital stays for treatment. Luckily she was able to spend her final days at home surrounded by multiple family members and had medical care from a trained medical professional. Never was euthanasia discussed as an alternative to palliative care. She was able to experience the love and care of her family members who did all within their power to make sure that she was comfortable, ensuring that her dignity was paramount at all times. Much time was spent sitting quietly with her, which was a nice time to have. She passed away quietly and with dignity.
I find it quite offensive that euthanasia is promoted in the mainstream media as dying with dignity, as if it is undignified to die naturally. The natural is now becoming the unnatural. Seeing a loved one dying is not easy but with it comes acceptance and a time to come to terms with it. Voluntary assisted dying will no doubt open the door to those seeking advantage from it e.g. family who want someone to die to get it over with, who are waiting for an inheritance etc. It also sends the message that life is not worth living and many people would feel a burden to those around them or feel pressured to choose likewise.
I believe more funding needs to be allocated to palliative care. It is important that people feel assured that if they have a terminal illness they can rest assured that they will have their needs met, especially with regards to pain management and the choice to stay at home if they wish and have specialist nurses/doctors visit. People should not have to feel that they have no option but to seek euthanasia. People deserve better than that.