Australia: Dying mum urges Queensland premier to commit to euthanasia bill - - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia Dying mum urges Queensland premier to commit to euthanasia bill

03:35  03 december  2019
03:35  03 december  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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An assisted dying bill was ratified by the state of Victoria on Wednesday, making it After a two and a half years of debate and amendments, Victoria’s Lower House ratified the euthanasia bill , handing Mr. Andrews, the premier , said in a statement that the law would give those with terminal illnesses

The bill legalises voluntary euthanasia by allowing adults with less than six months to live or those "But Mum is not that person anymore. I know that she would have never believed in euthanasia , but I believe that is a barbaric conclusion." Under the bill , the person seeking assisted dying would have

a person wearing glasses: Tanya Battel is pleading with the premier for the right to end her life under her own terms. Tanya Battel is pleading with the premier for the right to end her life under her own terms.

Tanya Battel has had a lot of time to think about death.

Three years ago, the breast cancer she had been fighting for almost 20 years spread to her right lung.

The Brisbane mother-of-two was told her condition was terminal and she had just months to live.

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Voluntary Euthanasia Party - NSW, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia. Although Queensland and NSW also hope to have assisted dying bills introduced next year, Tasmania is Requests that the qld premier commits to a voluntary assisted dying bill being tabled

Voluntary Euthanasia Party - NSW, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia. Although Queensland and NSW also hope to have assisted dying bills introduced next year, Tasmania is Requests that the qld premier commits to a voluntary assisted dying bill being tabled

Since then Ms Battel, 56, has defied those odds, while enduring round after round of different chemotherapies aimed at keeping the cancer at bay.

But last year, the cancer metastasised again, and countless tumours 'like grains of sand' were found in her stomach.

"There is no cure, it is going to do what it's going to do," Ms Battel said.

"I face the prospect of a horrible, painful death as the cancer moves to my bones, my organs and my brain.

"This is what I fear more than anything else – not death - but the long, drawn out process of dying."

It's a horrific end Ms Battel has already witnessed first-hand in her parents, having nursed them both right up until their deaths.

"My mum died of an incurable disease, her suffering was horrendous," she said.

Palaszczuk urged to act on euthanasia

  Palaszczuk urged to act on euthanasia Popular television presenter and author Andrew Denton is urging Queensland's premier to introduce a Bill to legalise euthanasia now.That's according to Andrew Denton, the most high profile advocate of voluntary assisted dying.

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"Wherever euthanasia or assisted suicide has been allowed, so-called 'exceptional circumstances' are quickly becoming the norm and the criteria for death This week the Belgian parliament will discuss proposals to extend euthanasia to children, dementia sufferers and people with long-term illnesses.

"My father had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, and in his last six months we just watched him waste away to nothing."

a person standing next to a body of water: Tanya Battel, pictured with her children Sam and Alana around the time she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997.© Supplied Tanya Battel, pictured with her children Sam and Alana around the time she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997.

A staunch euthanasia advocate, if Ms Battel lived in Victoria she says her path would be simple.

When it became clear that she had "had enough" she would access the state's assisted dying laws.

"I've had mastectomies, radiation, lumpectomies, hysterectomies, surgeries and treatments - I've given this journey all I can. So when I do get to the stage where my oncologist says to me you are not responding to the treatment, I should be able to say ok, that's enough," she said.

Victoria's assisted dying act came into effect in July, and in its first two months the government granted 11 permits to people with a terminal illness who had six months or less to live.

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Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is when action is taken to end the life of a person who is experiencing long-term illness. In most countries, euthanasia is against the law and it may carry a jail sentence. In the United States, the law varies between states.

Late-night debate secures defeat of amendment that would have delayed bill , moving Victoria closer to becoming first state to legalise assisted dying .

People who move to Victoria cannot be granted a voluntary assisted dying permit until they have lived in the state for 12 months.

The first to make use of the laws was Bendigo mother Kerry Robertson, 61, whose breast cancer had metastasised to her bones, lung, brain and liver.

WA is now following Victoria's lead, with its Senate this week hammering out the final details of its proposed assisted dying laws.

The Labor Government has said it is hoping to pass the legislation on Friday, the last sitting day of the year.

Meanwhile, Queensland and South Australia are both running parliamentary inquiries into voluntary assisted dying.

The final report into Queensland's inquiry is due to be handed down in March next year.

However, Ms Battel said she would like Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to commit now to introducing a voluntary assisted dying bill to parliament before the October election.

There was a real fear that if this did not happen, any progress on the issue in Queensland would be delayed for years, she said.

The opposition of the Liberals and Nationals to voluntary assisted dying meant that even if a conscience vote was allowed, it would be unlikely to pass with a coalition state government, Ms Battel said.

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"If Annastacia Palaszczuk does not get in at the next election voluntary assisted dying will disappear for years," she said.

Andrew Denton posing for the camera: Ms Battel, with voluntary assisted dying advocate and TV presenter Andrew Denton.© Supplied Ms Battel, with voluntary assisted dying advocate and TV presenter Andrew Denton.

TV presenter Andrew Denton also voiced similar fears after flying to Queensland last week to make his own plea to the premier.

"I encourage the premier to look at the evidence and have the political will to act on it; not one Queenslander will die as a result of voluntary assisted dying legislation but far fewer will suffer needlessly at the end of life," the high-profile voluntary assisted dying advocate told reporters outside parliament.

"The lesson of the Andrews government of Victoria, where they ran strongly on this, is that they were rewarded by the electorate for taking the lead."

A spokesperson for Ms Palaszczuk told nine.com.au the premier would not be commenting on the issue until the parliamentary inquiry had been completed and the committee had handed down its recommendations in March.

"The government will consider the committee's report once it is handed down," the spokesperson said.

Every month in Queensland, seven people with a terminal illness take their life, coronial figures collated by euthanasia advocates at the Clem Jones Trust recently found.

Euthanasia debate breakthrough, with WA likely to pass voluntary assisted dying laws within days

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The proposed bill , which Premier Daniel Andrews has described as the most conservative scheme in the world, will now go to the upper house where it is expected to be another tight vote. Mr Andrews said watching his father die slowly from cancer helped change his mind on assisted dying .

Ms Battel said the devastating statistic showed why the issue needed to be urgently addressed and not left to linger for years.

"A lot of work has been done in Victoria. Queensland does not need to reinvent the wheel. Victoria and WA they have done all the work. Now it's time for the premier to commit to having the bill debated in parliament," she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Battel said she had discussed the option of moving to Victoria or going to a clinic in Switzerland to end her life on her own terms, but both presented huge obstacles.

"I've talked to my husband about relocating to Victoria but it's a big thing to sell up your house and go and live in a different state," she said.

"And you have to be a resident for 12 months in Victoria before you can access the voluntary assisted dying laws, so we could sell up and go down there and I might not have 12 months."

"I have also been given the green light to go overseas when I'm ready. But then you put yourself in that position where you are saying goodbye to your children at the airport. And you have to be well enough to travel 13000 miles across the world - to do what you should have available in your own country."

Ms Battel said she still felt an extraordinary amount of anger at being denied what she believed was her right to a peaceful death on the basis of where she lived.

"One advocate described it as an imaginary glass window between Victoria and the other states. We are looking through the glass window."

Ms Battel has started on online petition calling on the Queensland government to commit to introducing a voluntary assisted dying bill before the next state election.

Contact reporter Emily McPherson at emcpherson@nine.com.au.

Assisted dying bill leaves sick and elderly open to coercion .
Set to pass this week, the Western Australian law will be more liberal than the Victorian version.Last week the state's Upper House voted resoundingly in favour of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 24 to 11.

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