Pensioner advocate Terri Bradley.
Pensioner advocate Terri Bradley.

Pensioner considers euthanasia

TWEED pensioner advocate Terri Bradley has declared there will come a time when she would like to take her own life.

Speaking to the Tweed Daily News yesterday at a seminar run by the controversial “doctor death”, Philip Nitschke, Ms Bradley said that when her agony from chronic illness becomes too much, it will be her choice whether she continues her life.

However, as Dr Nitschke told about 100, mostly elderly, people at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre, Ms Bradley would have to die alone and in private, for if her friends or family were part of any voluntary euthanasia in New South Wales, they would risk 20 years in jail.

“There is no legal way to get help to die; suicide is not a crime, but no one can assist. This is a paradox in law, there is no other example of this in law, yet it remains,” Dr Nitschke said.

Ms Bradley listed a number of painful conditions she suffered and for which she was on strong painkillers and said: “I think it (death) is a choice we are allowed to make”.

“They are all permanent problems, there will come a time.

“Why should we go through all this agony because someone else is saying we have to? It is our life, our choice.”

She said she would soon need to have a dangerous spinal operation with just a 60 per cent success rate, which would leave her disabled for at least 12 months.

“It is my choice to decide if I am in too much agony. I should be allowed to choose if I have had enough.

“What is the problem with going a little bit earlier?”

According to Ms Bradley, permanently lying in a foetal position in a nursing home bed with no control of her bowels would be a nightmare.

“I would not like to have my grandchildren see me in that state; I think it would be very traumatic.”

“If you are in that position, and a lot of people are, no one should be able to say you can't go when you want, it is not right.”

Ms Bradley said people were being forced to die a lonely death due to the law.

“That is the sad part of it; you should be able to have your family there. All they (the governments) are doing is driving it underground and people are still doing it.”

At the conference, Dr Nitschke had on hand the Exit International barbiturate testing kit, which he displayed for the third time ever at private workshops following a public speech yesterday morning.

He said, by law, he was not able to go into detail about the kit at a public meeting.

The doctor legally helped four people die in the Northern Territory in the 1990s before the Federal Government overruled the territory's euthanasia law.

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