by Chrys Stevenson, The Punch, 5 April 2012
Following my speech at DWD NSW I felt I really had to do more to ‘get the message out’.
End of life law reform is such an important issue, supported by an overwhelming majority of Australians. So, it’s astounding that people aren’t joining their local Dying with Dignity organisations in droves and throwing money at the cause. Few things are more important in life than a peaceful and dignified death.
Of course, we’re bombarded with VERY IMPORTANT ISSUES all the time and although we might give ‘lip service’ support, it’s only on the odd one or two that we’re likely to write a letter to a politician, join in a street march, or put our hands in our pocket to help lobby for change.
Ultimately, dying is going to effect every single one of us – gay or straight, religious or atheist, male or female, Liberal, Labor or Green. There are so many things that divide us, but death is the one thing that should unite us.
So, why aren’t more people actively supporting the DWD groups in their states? I think, maybe, it’s because they just haven’t thought about it.
In the week prior to my recent speech to Dying with Dignity in Sydney, I’d seen Neil Francis of Your Last Right and my dear friend, Dr Jim McDonald (then the Greens Candidate for Noosa) give compelling speeches in favour of voluntary euthanasia at DWD Maroochydore. Then, when I was on the plane, flying to Sydney, I had a very emotional chat with the lady sitting next to me.
I felt I’d been privileged to hear some stories that needed to be told – and I’d heard a ‘cry for help’ from DWD NSW that needed to be answered.
So, I sat down on my return and wrote an article which, I’m delighted to say, has been published today on The Punch.
What this issue needs is circulation. So I’d like to ask that you share this link with your own networks and make the point that joining your local DWD (SAVES in South Australia, WAVES in Western Australia) is a ridiculously small investment in your end of life choices.
Please, also feel free to comment on the article on The Punch. There are sure to be many myths and a truck-load of misinformation trotted out to counter the article. Have your say!
If you’re interested in joining your local DWD lobby group, there’s a comprehensive list here.