BEFORE we consider VAD, we need to massively improve palliative services and end of life care in this state.
The trauma experienced by the Gray family is unforgivable.
No one should die under such distressing circumstances.
The fact that a number of submissions to the bill indicate it is not an isolated case, just proves the inadequacy of the current system.
Since Philip Oakden Hospice closed in 2007 we are constantly hearing examples of system dysfunction.
Difficulty accessing services and/or lack of continuity, little or no communication within the relative agencies, inability to access beds in Melwood unit, poor control of terminal symptoms, no respite support for those dying at home, no after hours help other than Tasmanian Ambulance Service, to name just a few.
All these examples lead to poorly integrated care of the terminally ill.
No wonder there is fear of “intolerable pain” and the desire to avoid it.
Optimum care is not available.
The system is totally broken.
Highest quality palliative care should be prioritised.
Once we have excellence in end of life care, the discussion on VAD can begin for the few for whom their wish, rather than their fear, can be fulfilled.
We urge politicians to implement improvement to the current system, then view VAD as a small part of quality End of Life Care options.
We believe all of this is currently unavailable in Tasmania.
L Irwin, Friends of Northern Hospice.
Right for concerns
IT IS obvious that there are real problems with the Voluntary Assisted Suicide Bill put forward by Mike Gaffney.
Tasmanians are right to be concerned about the best care for their sick relatives and the real area for improvement will always be palliative care.
Pain management is the gold standard and should be our ultimate aim, not deliberate killing of the patient.
If the bill passes, the pressure on doctors, families and the patient to end it all will be overwhelming and the ”easy option”.
And don’t think for a minute it will stop at terminally ill patients.
P Cotterill, Latrobe.
HYPOCRISY at its best. These vouchers were supposedly provided to help Tasmanian accommodation businesses, yet these vouchers are eligible to be used with Airbnb bookings.
As we all know Airbnb is an overseas company where the profits go abroad. Please explain?
Steve De Launay, Scottsdale.
THE Prime Minister has come out and given the gold standard for suppressing COVID-19 to NSW even though they are still getting cases each and every day.
This is not an Olympic race, Prime Minister, playing with statistics sure some stand out from others, but the one and only thing that each and every state premier is doing is trying to keep their people safe as they can from getting the virus.
Everyone wants an income and safe environment to live in halting the virus at borders is a sure and safe way to stop it. So-called herd management has been proven ineffective. By the sounds of things that’s what you want with all the borders open.
David Parker, West Launceston.
Returning the Petroglyphs
I FOR one can’t wait for the petroglyphs to be returned to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, it is well overdue and a positive step by all involved in the reconciliation process; acknowledging past wrongs and now rectifying these with reflection and compassion.
My community will treasure the return of these sacred stones and we will make our own decisions about what will happen to them at our own time.
After all, we should have the say in what happens to them now as we had no say when they were cut from our cultural fabric all those years ago.
Be assured, without a doubt we will care for them as they should be cared for and make all relevant decisions about the petroglyphs with as much love and with all the respect they have always deserved.
Tessa Atto, Ravenswood.
Path to decisions
IT SEEMS every man and his dog has an opinion on COVID-19 and the precautions that are/are not being taken to protect us.
Some attributable to experts receive publicity, most don’t, .and thank goodness for that. Why is it that some have to second guess every decision taken by our state government in this matter?
Hasn’t it kept us free thus far of the “second wave” nasties that are prevalent in parts of the mainland?
Frighteningly, many of them without a traceable source.
Do we really need that sort of uncertainty hanging over out collective head?
Could our much smaller infrastructure cope? Realistically, probably not.
I may be in the minority, but I really do not need to know how Premier Peter Gutwein and his team have arrived at their border decisions.
I only need to know that they have done so, after consultation and with the best advice available.
We do not need inter-faction sniping now that the outcome of those consultations has been released and implemented.
We have come this far, let our only issue be: stay safe Tasmania.