The Australian Medical Association’s Ethics and Medico-Legal committee recently reaffirmed is opposition to Victoria’s proposed euthanasia legislation.
I was able to ensure my parents had humane deaths in n aged care home because I had enough medical knowledge to insist on morphine being both prescribed and administered. Others have to rely on the judgement of health professionals.
Yes, some are reluctant to administer morphine because they believe it will hasten death. I was once told “ nature should take its course”.
When it was clear my father was dying, I asked his GP to order 1-5mg morphine 4-hourly as required. The GP initially refused.
I argued that as metastatic prostate cancer is painful. I did not want my father to have to wait 24 hours or longer for a GP visit when he complained of pain. The GP reluctantly agreed. However, some nurses refused to administer morphine.
Although I was relieved I did not allow nature take its course, it shouldn’t have been such a battle.
First published as a letter to The Age on 12 March 2017