The repeated call by opponents of assisted dying is that the elderly and the vulnerable must be protected from coercion. In this, they are right – and there are many safeguards built into existing laws overseas which do exactly that.
But what of the elderly described in this episode by two of Australia’s coroners: rational men and women from loving families – who, faced with an irreversible and painful decline into death, are deciding to kill themselves violently instead?
Left: Joan Upton (with cake) pictured with her children Greg, Annette and Robert. Right: Philip Nitschke — Photos: Supplied
If the law offers them no other way to end their suffering, who could be more coerced than them?
And yet, on these vulnerable Australians – including beloved mothers, fathers, partners and grandparents – the opponents are silent.
This silence needs to be challenged. It’s time we talked about Australia’s dark little secret.
'They all know it – including doctors. They know that this person is