Family calls for choice in death
A PIMLICO man is calling for voluntary euthanasia laws to be brought to the forefront of the Queensland Government's agenda after watching his partner die in pain after a battle with cancer.
Harley Randle's partner Sandra passed away on March 17 at the age of 66, just three months after being diagnosed with liver cancer.
Mr Randle said if voluntary euthanasia laws were in place his partner could have died with dignity and without pain.
"She was in favour of euthanasia. She knew that she was dying, and if she'd had her way she would have went sooner," he said.
"I've been in favour of euthanasia for a long time, I think it should be nationwide."
Harley and Sandra's daughter Sally Reynolds said the family hadn't put much thought into the legality of euthanasia before her mother's death.
"We're totally pro-euthanasia and going through this with Mum has really brought it to the front," she said.
"I'm all for it because she passed away with absolutely no dignity and that's not fair.
"To know how smart and articulate she was and to see her confused and not be able to get her words out, that was really hard to watch."
Mr Randle said Sandra passed away two days after their 39th anniversary.
"When she didn't know who we were, that hurt," he said. "The hospital staff said to speak to her and her subconscious will hear it, but I don't buy that I'm afraid. All due respect to the hospital staff, they did a great job looking after her."
Mr Randle said the debate over euthanasia needed to be taken out of the political arena
"It's a simple thing between the patient and the patient's family if they want to end it sooner," he said.
Dying with Dignity Queensland Townsville committee member Marj Lawrence has been advocating for voluntary euthanasia for over three decades.
Ms Lawrence said more pressure needed to be placed on politicians to research voluntary euthanasia elsewhere.
"It's all about giving people a choice," she said.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide is illegal in all states and territories, including Queensland, and may result in a person being charged with murder, manslaughter or assisting suicide. However, the Victorian Legislative Assembly passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 in November 2017, which will legalise voluntary assisted dying (physician-assisted suicide) in Victoria from June 19, 2019.
In January, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said a parliamentary inquiry into euthanasia was not on the agenda in the first year of government.