The first was Peter Short, who succumbed to oesophageal cancer. Peter had been a passionate advocate for the legalisation of assisted dying, I talked about Peter in my first blog on this website.
The Final Post on his Blog, petershort.com.au posted by his wife Elizabeth reads, Hi, my beautiful husband Pete died this morning at 12:20 AM. He died peacefully and I was privileged enough to be sitting on his bed holding his hand at that time. Pete’s decision to opt for Palliative care brought him to a place of calmness and serenity and for all of us, safety and security. It allowed Pete to relax, stop fighting and go calmly to his happy place. Thank you all so much for your constant love and support, it has meant the world to us.
As a family we will continue to strive to achieve Pete’s dream of seeing Senator Richard Di Natale’s Dying With Dignity Bill become Law.
Elizabeth and Mitchell x
The second death was that of Debbie Purdy in the UK. Debbie had suffered excruciatingly for many years from progressive MS. Again, she was also a passionate advocate for the legalisation of assisted dying, and it was her efforts that led to the UK Director of Public Prosecutions issuing guidelines under which family accompanying a loved one to an assisted death in Switzerland would not be charged with the crime of assisting a suicide. Debbie died after she deliberately stopped eating.
The third death was that of a childhood friend of mine from the ravages of Parkinson’s. An email from his wife included, “He passed away last night after 3 tortuous weeks. It is such a relief to see him in peace at last.”
In her Christmas card to us two weeks earlier she had said that his situation was deteriorating, “nearing the end” and that it was “tragic”. Also that it is “Hard to imagine that anyone who sees him would not actively support euthanasia.”
Three more reasons why I will keep striving for compassionate choice in assisted dying!