Perth woman writes to Government in voluntary euthanasia plea

Premier Colin Barnett.
Premier Colin Barnett.

A PERTH woman has penned a letter to the State Government appealing for it to take a voluntary euthanasia Bill to Parliament.

Kirsty Holmes watched her mother die from cancer last week after a 12-year battle with the disease, which she received treatment for at St John of God Subiaco Hospital.

She said her mum had fought breast, bone and liver cancer and her dying wish was to see voluntary euthanasia legalised in WA.

Miss Holmes is hoping she will be able to make that wish come true.

“Mum couldn’t eat, drink or even hold a conversation for the last four days of her life,” she said.

“She begged me to talk to the nurses to help end her pain. She was in excruciating pain and was drugged so heavily that she barely knew what was going on.

“There was absolutely no chance of survival for mum. We all had to wait for days, simply waiting for a phone call, all the while knowing that she was in so much pain just begging for life to end.”

Miss Holmes said she wrote the letter to Premier Colin Barnett to help other families in the same position.

“At the very least, I would like it to be discussed in Parliament again, whether that is locally or nationally,” she said. “For all of their family and friends to have to wait side-by-side, watching their loved ones go downhill and slowly die a horrible and painful death, it’s not fair.

“I want to save another family the suffering and pain that mine went through.”

Mr Barnett said it was very difficult to pass laws in the area.

MORE: RSPCA investigates chicken farm cruelty claims

“Most people believe palliative care and treatment of someone in their last days is a matter for the family and local doctor,” he said.

“It was last debated in the Parliament in 2010. It is a sensitive issue; my own view is it is best left up to the family and the medical practitioners. If you start to legislate for euthanasia, you get into an absolute minefield.”

Opposition Health spokesman Roger Cook said he personally supported voluntary euthanasia.

“I’m a supporter of voluntary euthanasia, in which people make their own decision when they are terminally ill or in pain, about whether or not they want to continue on,” he said.

“I hate the thought of people persisting or subsisting with life when it’s unpleasant, when it is unnecessary and when they are clearly dying or in pain.

“I think as a society we should be brave enough to deal with these issues.”