The Gaffney Bill
I WISH Mike Gaffney the very best with his new proposed bill for voluntary assisted dying legislation drafted for parliament later this year.
Recently my family lost our wife, mum, mum in law, grandmother, sister and aunt to cancer. Cancer has been around for years.
Other chronic diseases and illnesses have been around for years.
For too long families have watched loved ones suffer in their final days.
This legislation to me is personal. Mum is my dad's wife and best friend. It's personal as she is my mum. She is my brother and sisters' mum. She is a mother-in-law and grandmother to her nine grandchildren.
We had to watch her in pain in hospital and at home. The people who nursed mum were colleagues (mum was a nurse for 40 years) and her friends. They had to remove themselves from the personal side and do their job. No-one should have to suffer from chronic and terminal illness.
We should all have the right to choose how we leave our world. We have the freedom to choose who we vote for.
We can say what we like and to who without repercussions (within reason) and fear of being imprisoned. Yet we can't choose to say "that's it, I've had enough". Our family sat with mum for her final days.
We never left her side and assisted in every single way we could to make her days better. We did not know when her final day would come. We knew it was close and were prepared for it to come, but when it does arrive you are still not ready.
When mum was initially diagnosed, she was relatively healthy and in a clear sound mind. As she became sick and weaker, she still had her faculties. Even four days before she left us, mum was still able to make decisions albeit very tired and weak.
When someone dies, it is sad. Yes.
By honouring someone's wishes to die voluntarily and, on their own terms, might make it easier for families and friends.
Decisions can be made early and discussions with the family can be held.
Does it make it any easier, no?
That said, it puts the mind of the family and the person at rest knowing there's nothing more that can be done. It might be more peaceful for the person with the illness.
They can do all their goodbyes, be at peace with the world and in the end, we should all go how we want to.
On our terms, not on the illness terms.
I hope that anyone who feels the same can support the bill and submit your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions can be made privately or publicly.
Scott Hayes, Legana.
THERE is a lot of money and assistance being thrown at coronavirus, but this will not filter to all sections of the community, at a time when we are being asked to spend.
Interest rate cuts and huge stock market slumps are negatives for some and will have the effect of reducing spending.
Perhaps consideration could be given for the period of the crisis to waive stamp duty, and GST on insurances, and GST on essentials such as gas, electricity, and telephone accounts.
Perhaps there should be enforcement to pass on the effects of reduced oil prices, and what about an emergency increase to the Medicare rebate? Those who receive financial assistance may well find that they will only be absorbed by the above charges.
Gregory Waldon, Invermay.
IN general, these jobs cannot be considered essential. The answer is obvious, stop work and stay home, unless your job is essential.
John Eastoe, Launceston.
IN this new and alarming time of a respiratory pandemic it horrifies me that non-essential forestry burn-offs are continuing.
The Tasmanian forest industry is continuing to carry out regeneration burns where forests have been clear-felled in order to make the regrowth more suitable for future logging.
These regeneration burns are not to be confused with fuel reduction burns.
The extra smoke pollution from regeneration burns is totally unnecessary in the face of increased risks of deadly respiratory illness due to the coronavirus.
Why is it business as usual in the Tasmanian forests when the world is suffering and climate change continues?
Felicity Holmes, Blackmans Bay.
WITH every passing day the depressing news gets worse, businesses closing down, people losing their jobs, families in financial stress and a feeling of hopelessness within the community. But there is one shining light, service stations, while the oil price is collapsing worldwide our lovely petrol companies are still keeping their prices at or near the same level as weeks ago. It's nice to know someone is making a buck out of all the misery befalling the nation.
Peter Wilson, Newstead.
THE queues outside your offices appear to breach social distancing recommendations and suggest that the number of people queuing exceeds the number that can be processed in one day.
Solution - Monday. Only people whose surname starts with A, B, C, D and E can attend the Centrelink offices.
On Tuesday, names F, G, H, I, J and so on with the rest of the week.
Peter Manktelow, Norwood.
Petrol Price Gouge
IF Coles and Woolworths can be prosecuted for robbing their staff over wages, what a shame they can't be prosecuted for robbing their customers over petrol prices all the time, and particularly during these hard times. United are not any better either.