Euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke to visit Bundaberg
IT WILL be almost six years to the day next month since Dr Philip Nitschke first visited Bundaberg and his message remains the same.
The voluntary euthanasia advocate has chosen Bundaberg as one of only five places he will visit to deliver a workshop for Exit International members while travelling from his home in Holland.
About 300 people turned up to a public meeting held at the Civic Centre in February 2012, and Bundaberg woman Dianne Lange expects the same this time around.
For Ms Lange, the right to choose when we die is personal.
Her mother suffered greatly in the weeks before her death.
"She existed as a vegetable. She said she just wanted to 'pop off'. She was in pain but was too dignified to say, she just wanted to go.
"My mum ended up dehydrating and starving to death.”
It's a fate she would not wish on anyone.
"We want the laws to change so everyone can die with dignity,” she said.
"His belief is rational adults should have the means to end their lives peacefully and reliably.”
Ms Lange's friend Bill has a similar story about his own parents and says after 20 years of fighting to change legislation across the country, it's time for change.
"It's not just the elderly but anyone really, they can be very young but they've got no quality of life,” he said.
Victoria has recently taken the first steps towards adopting pro-euthanasia laws after the state's Premier, Daniel Andrews, fought long and hard.
The voluntary assisted dying bill was passed in November with amendments.
Although far from perfect, it's a scenario Ms Lange would like to see happen in Queensland.
"We need to die with dignity with our family by our side and not alone,” she said.
"When they want to go, for heaven's sake, don't we have compassion?”
The other issue Ms Lange would like to see addressed is hospice care. She says palliative care is limited in what they can prescribe and a hospice would allow people to die comfortably and in the presence of their loved ones.
"It's not always the pain either, it's the struggle to exit and there's nothing to help them,” she said.
Ms Lange was responsible for bringing the euthanasia documentary Fade to Black to Bundaberg and it's clear she won't give up the fight.
"It's an insurance knowing you can die happy,” she said.