My husband and I moved to Tasmania in 1962 with four children. We settled in Hobart where we raised our young family, plus two Tasmanians. We loved living in Tasmania because the local people were so supportive and friendly towards us. We loved to bushwalk and frequently took advantage of local nature reserves to teach our children how to camp and explore the mountains.
My husband was diagnosed with lymphoma 18 months before he passed away. After the diagnosis we took a trip to Europe to meet friends, many of whom had visited us in Tasmania. We decided to make the most of the time that we have left together. My husband bravely took the diagnosis in his stride and wasn’t ready to become dependent upon anybody. He believed he had had a good life and that death was inevitable for all of us.
After returning to Hobart, my husband’s condition deteriorated to the extent that he was admitted to palliative care. When he was really sick he never complained. At times he believed that the pain medication administered to him was excessive. Before the end he was very concerned that I was in safe hands and would be cared for after his death. He died very peacefully, just slipping away, surrounded by his family whilst in palliative care.
The End-of-Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Bill 2020 concerns me because I don’t approve of us ending our lives prematurely. A natural death is what we should desire and plan for. I don’t feel it is right to make someone else responsible for killing a person through ‘assisted dying.’ Healthcare professionals should always have their patient’s wellbeing at heart and this does not include euthanasia.
I have great admiration for the doctors and nurses at the Whittle Ward, who showed the epitome of kindness and care. My husband thanked me for getting him admitted there. From my experience, palliative care should be more widely funded and promoted.
I hope our MPs throw this Bill out of parliament, that euthanasia never becomes law, and that more money is put into palliative care. When we consider the funding given to sporting events and tourism, government should put more money into palliative care for our aging population in Tasmania.
*Person’s real name has not been used as they wish to remain anonymous.