For decades opinion polls have shown that 80% of people would support the decision by Angie Belecciu* to end her life with dignity as she suffered from incurable, painful bone cancer. (“Angie`s choice” The Age 25/3).
Angie chose Nembutal, a barbiturate drug used by vets to euthanase animals. But this drug of choice, sought by terminally ill people in great distress, was banned by the Howard Government in 2005. The penalty for importing this drug into Australia without a permit is up to 25 years imprisonment or a $550,000 fine.
People willingly support laws that are fair and just but will question laws that governments have introduced to gain office or pander to vocal sectional interests.
The prohibition of Nembutal is a glaring example of an inhumane law that brings further distress to those wishing to die with dignity, at a time of their choosing, in the company of their loved ones.
Keith McEwan, CLA member, Bendigo, Victoria
* see The Age article.