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Syme case shows need for euthanasia reform

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 30 Apr 2014

"Revelations that Melbourne urologist and dying with dignity campaigner Rodney Syme assisted in the suicide of terminally ill man Steve Guest are timely and important," said Greens Health Spokesperson Dr Richard Di Natale today.

"A doctor’s prime concern should be the wellbeing of their patient, right to the very end. When fear of legal repercussions is forcing doctors to say to a suffering patient, ‘sorry, I cannot help you’ there is something wrong with the system. Rodney Symes knew this and so he helped his patient anyway despite the risks to himself.

"It has been clear for years that the overwhelming majority of Australians want the option of a dignified death for themselves or their loved ones if it should come to that. Australia’s parliaments are years if not decades behind the public on this issue. It’s time we had the debate and finally make the reforms that give us back some control over the end of our lives."

"I congratulate Dr Symes for his courageous stand. I hope if nothing else his actions serve as a jolt to the conscience of politicians everywhere."

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