Most people 'change their mind' about wanting to end their life: palliative care doctor

By August 25, 2016 Recent News

Stuff 24 August 2016
Family First Comment: Some superb comments from someone who knows!
People aren’t “crying out in pain from their deathbeds”, says a palliative care doctor against voluntary euthanasia.
Amanda Landers, chair of The Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine, told MPs on the first day of a parliamentary inquiry into euthanasia that pain is “completely subjective”.
“Sixty per cent of New Zealanders have chronic pain … I had a hip operation recently and I have hip pain right now and I’m pretty sure my teenagers suffered during their teens for about five years.”
When questioned whether that was “unbearable pain” by National MP Jacqui Dean – Landers responded, “isn’t it?”
Landers submission against giving people the choice to die is borne out of her own experience dealing with about 5000 deaths in palliative care throughout her career.
“In my job I have a lot of people asking me about euthanasia. When they say that to me I say, you’re so brave but why do you want that?. We dig down … almost everybody changes their mind in my experience.”
She said those who didn’t change their mind about wanting to end their life shouldn’t be given the option.
Her comments were in direct contrast to those of Matt Vickers, husband of Lecretia Seales, who fought on her deathbed for the right to choose to die.
Vickers asked that the inquiry “have an open mind” and consult with experts overseas.
As for the submissions from organisations, such as Care Alliance and Family First, he said the “truth about end of life practices” wouldn’t be found there.