Month 4, Day 1 – Correction

Link to The Age article below faulty so this was it or type in the long one below
2nd shot,

I cannot trust a broken process

I am 100 per cent behind you, Dr Syme. I have terminal oesophageal cancer and am making the most of my time – possibly another six months – surrounded by family, friends, a great set of doctors and a palliative care team. My instruction to all is I don’t want pain, I don’t want to be in a hospital and I don’t want to live longer than necessary when the time comes. Who would argue? But this is where our legislators ignore us. How do I ensure my wishes and needs will be met? I can stockpile barbiturates and overdose (not a good role model as a father of a 22-year-old son or to the wider community); search for a Dr Syme; or trust a broken process. Let us all unite behind Dr Syme to drive fundamental change.

Peter Short, Camberwell

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4 thoughts on “Month 4, Day 1 – Correction

  1. Good letters, Pete – both to the PM and re Rodney Syme. I am pleased The Age published the Rodney Syme one. I spoke to him and he was grateful for your support and, as discussed, will take your call should you wish to call him. He is a decent and kind man man.

    He was a guest of mine in The Zone:

    Good to see your scores tracking so well. See you soon – let me know those pasta dates. xm

  2. Well written letter Shorty, I read it in the paper and was really chuffed it had been included. What I have also learned from reading your blog is that you live 5 doors down Glencairn Ave from my parents – they are at 1/41, front unit up the hill a bit. So I will be the pest tooting the horn every time I drive past your place from now on. My mum is off to get a new heart valve in a couple of weeks so I will be around there a bit helping out. Cheers buddy.

  3. Making me think of the teaching of the Church about euthanasia and the whole trad. Anglican thing of going to the very bitter end, so as to set an example to family and others of the officer class…but how when it happens to oneself [ie one is terminal with bells on] things are likely going to be very different. I saw a guy die on euth. in a vid made in Switzerland [from memory he had Motor Neuron, which is what killed my m in law and he was an Aussie in his 50s] and I thought it was very dignified. He was sort of half sitting up and that seemed so much better than prostrate with tubes and such.

  4. Peter, I support your quest every inch of the way. Personally I have been a member of EXIT since it’s inception. In 1976 I watched my 62 year old father die a horrible death, in a hospital, from lung cancer. Nothing prepared me for watching the torture he endured, much of it at the hands of medical practitioners performing cruel procedures “for his own good”. Dad begged me to stop them, but as I teenager what was I to do? In 1997 I revisited that situation. A lady who was my surrogate mother ,aged in her early 60’s. Liver cancer as a secondary to colon cancer about ten years prior. Once in the hospital system her life sure took a terminal turn for the worse, much of it due to poor diagnosis of the exact problem so incorrect, invasive procedures performed from which she never recovered as complications set in. This wonderful lady also eventually died a horrendous death in palliative care. Her full story leading up to her death is a litany of horrors. Now 2014, so some 38 years later, you would realistically expect that advances in medical technology would mean these unfortunate cases no longer occur. Wrong ! I just watched a good friend die a lingering, stressful death from mesothelioma. His wife of 55 years told me at his funeral that if there was anything she could have done to hasten his demise in a more peaceful manner (without her going to jail) she would have done so weeks before he died. Anyone who does not have an exit plan in place well before they find themselves in the unfortunate situation of being diagnosed with a terminal or unbearable condition, will rue the day I am sure.
    Whether you agree with his politics or not why not try Clive Palmer to take up the challenge. He seems to be pretty fearless. PUP would have everything to gain by going in to bat and very little to lose. Neither of the other major parties seem to be bold enough to take up the challenge.

    Will follow your blog with interest. You are a brave man.

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