Can we knock on death’s door when the storms of life become unbearable? I hope Victorians will always answer no. And that’s why I was saddened to hear that Premier Andrews had successfully passed euthanasia legislation through the lower house. Voting on this legislation is huge. Our culture has long said; stand by your mates; care for your cobbers. I’m hoping sitting members of the upper house don’t imagine euthanasia will supply fresh reserves of compassion. Death is not mercy.
I realise the motivations behind ’dying with dignity’ are well intentioned. We all want to respond well to human suffering. But we need to see through euphemisms like ‘dying with dignity’. Even when you chose the time and place you never remove the hard edge of death’s reality. No one lives and dies in isolation. Our actions for good or ill impact those around us. Beyond Blue have been telling us this for years.
On average eight Australians take their own lives daily. Six of the eight are men. And rural communities, like ours, bear the greater burden of this tragic loss. Passing the Euthanasia bill is I think a big mistake. What do we say to our young men who are struggling with life when their government has said death is a reasonable option? Will Victoria eventually have two hotlines? One for comfort and one for consent? I hope we never get there. Please vote no.