Having a Right to a Dignified Death Debated by Our Retirees; Voluntary Euthanasia Speaker in Bundaberg Says Terminally Ill Entitled to Choose

Article excerpt

Byline: Kallee Buchanan

BOBBIE Berkery has felt the touch of suicide in her life, and has watched sick people close to her struggle to go on.

At a presentation by Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Queensland (VESQ) treasurer Sandra Milne yesterday, Mrs Berkery said she has seen the desperation of people who feel they have no other option but to attempt to kill themselves when their health deteriorates.

"It is tragic, but it is an act of love, they don't want to see family suffer," Mrs Berkery said.

She said she would be lobbying Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey to raise the issue of voluntary euthanasia in parliament.

"Because I so believe in it," she said.

While healthy and vibrant at 85-years-old, Mrs Berkery said she had signed an advanced health directive or "living will" to let her husband know her wishes when it came to the end of her life.

"We're not going to live forever, fortunately we're well and healthy at the moment, but one day will come when one of us is going to be sick and I don't want to be a burden," she said.

She was just one voice in about 90 at the meeting of the Bundaberg and District Branch of the Association of Independent Retirees.

While the discussion topic was controversial, the audience showed no signs of the hostility, emotion or anger that often accompanies the euthanasia debate. …