Ed Space September 24 2016

LIFE is precious. There can be no value put on a life.

But is life worth living if it can’t be lived?

As a young pup, this editor didn’t hold strong views around the euthanasia debate. 

“It was too far off to even worry about,” the young pup thought without considering that, while it might not affect him, it might affect those he loved the most. 

Now, much older and wiser, those views  have changed. Personal experience has forged a strong belief that every human should have a right to die with dignity.

Some of the things we put our fellow humans through we would not allow or be legally allowed to put our animals through. And it’s wrong.

It’s a highly emotive and personal issue without doubt.

Yet, as you watch a proud and dignified person forced to crumble and wilt to the point little of that pride and dignity is intact on leaving this earth, it becomes hard to argue.

You watch as medical professionals deal with the dilemma of treating someone as their job and the law dictates for prolonging their life. It’s hard.

Yet the world is changing. Voluntary euthanasia is gaining momentum.

Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death. - Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being

It’s now spreading across many states and countries across the world but not yet Australia.

This is despite the fact the Northern Territory passed the first  voluntary euthanasia laws in 1995 before the Howard Government stepped in. 

Now, Victoria might be the new frontier.

Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy has stated her support for voluntary euthanasia as her government seriously considers the introduction of laws sooner than later. Minister Hennessy’s views too are deeply personal.

“It's an incredible paradox because you want your mum to stay alive forever but it's awful when you watch a person in torturous pain, whose life is not what they'd want it to be and you can't legally do anything to help,’’ she told Fairfax Media.

Laws can’t come quick enough.

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