Compassion and respect

How many terrible experiences will it take?

After watching  Four Corners on ABC TV last night, I can’t help asking a recurring question – how many terrible experiences will it take before our members of Parliament join the vast majority of the population and support a legal option of doctor-provided voluntary assisted dying?

The program featured the story of Jay Franklin, a 36 year old man from Melbourne with a debilitating illness and constant pain, who’s had enough and wants to end his own life.   It shows him exploring the option of going to Dignitas in Switzerland.  As the ABC website says about the program: “Jay’s story raises many questions: why doesn’t society allow an individual with an incurable condition the right to seek assistance to end their own life? Is it right that a person is forced to go overseas to die in this way? And why don’t our political representatives deal with the issue in an open and free manner?”

Liz Jackson tells Jay’s story in a sensitive and moving way that reflects the best of journalism. You can find more details including background information at  the ABC website.

The program will be replayed on Tuesday 17th September at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pmABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

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