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Minister supports dying with dignity

Dr Francis Macnab today supported Dying With Dignity Victoria in its efforts to legalise physician assisted dying. Dr Macnab, executive minister of St Michael’s Church, Collins Street, said governments and churches should honour the wishes of people to die when terminally ill.

He said: “As a psychotherapist, I have sat with many people who have spoken of the way they wish to die but, when the time came, their wishes were denied. Some were left in prolonged suffering and wi

thout dignity.

“When churches and governments reject the right of a person to choose how they should live or die, they impose their views regardless of the person’s right in this matter.”

Dr Macnab will make his views known at the third Steve Guest Day rally on the steps of Parliament House, Melbourne, on Tuesday.

The rally will also hear from Melbourne ethicist Leslie Cannold, Victorian State Secretary of the Australian Nursing Federation, Lisa Fitzpatrick, and former Senator, now president of Dying With Dignity Victoria, Lyn Allison.

Steve Guest was a journalist who had cancer of the oesophagus and on the 774 ABC Jon Faine program publicly aired his intention to take his own life.

He railed against those who would deny him the right to die his way and so condemn him to die an agonisingly slow and painful death.

He ended his life by using Nembutal, a powerful but banned barbiturate drug. Dr Rodney Syme, Vice-President of Dying With Dignity Victoria, told police that he provided Steve Guest with medication. Dr Syme will also speak at the rally making further comment on his own involvement .

Independent polls consistently show that 80 per cent of Australians want reform and more doctors now support this right than oppose it.

More information: www.dwdv.org.au or phone (03) 9877 7677
Contacts:
Lyn Allison, President, 0407 691 512
Neil Francis, CEO, 0438 598 814

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