My email to our new NSW Minister for Health, sent 13.2.2017
Minister for Health
Dear Mr Hazzard
Congratulations on your appointment as Health Minister for NSW. It is encouraging that in the Daily Telegraph 6.2.2017 you are reported as recognising that more needs to be done for health matters in regional NSW.
You also stated that: “……often people depart this life in hospital…….”. This is certainly true, as NSW Prof Ken Hillman has noted: “Up to 70% of people now die in acute hospitals, surrounded by well meaning strangers, inflicting all that medicine has to offer; often resulting in a painful, distressing and degrading end to their life.”
Research indicates that in fact 70 to 80% of terminal patients would prefer to die at home. To enable this, adequately trained people are needed, plus the funding directed towards this service. I imagine it could well be ‘cost effective’ compared with dying in an Intensive Care Unit or similar? Ref: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-25/hundreds-access-program-of-end-of-life-care-at-home/6883162
Another issue relating to the terminally ill also attracts a similar level of 70 to 80% public support in NSW. That of assisted dying choice for the terminally or hopelessly ill who are facing futile suffering.
A cross party group of NSW MPs is currently working on a draft Bill to enable this choice, and I respectfully urge you to please have positive input into this much needed legislation, with the aim of ensuring that the final draft is such that you as Minister for Health could publicly support and vote to pass it. It does need to have a balance enabling access for the patients who wish to use it, and safeguards to protect from possible abuse.
There is now extensive data from other jurisdictions that proves this balance is possible.
– A wide ranging, in depth, Victorian Parliament Inquiry into End of Life Choices made Continue reading