Nursing palliative care
PHOTO: Laurie Strike wants to be able to decide when and how to end his own life. (Supplied)
MAP: Perth 6000
A Perth man with terminal cancer says he would like to be able to end his own life by choosing voluntary euthanasia.
Laurie Strike, 84, was first diagnosed with melanoma in 2010 and has since undergone a number of surgeries and treatments.
However, he now has weeks to live.
Laurie told ABC’s Local Radio he has done everything possible to prolong his life in order to arrange his affairs and take care of his family, but now wants to end his pain.
“I don’t think we should have to stay around if we don’t want to,” he told Geoff Hutchison on 720’s Mornings program.
“I’ve had a pretty interesting life. I’ve done a lot of things.
“I’m 84 now and I have a colostomy bag, I have a catheter in my penis, it’s a very uncomfortable way to live.
“I get tired easily, I don’t really like walking that far anymore, so my quality of life is deteriorating.”
Mr Strike says he was recently asked by a palliative carer if he wanted to commit suicide.
“I said, ‘don’t you normally do that with a gun or poison?’ and then he asked me if I had any symptoms such as loss of appetite, tiredness, and I said ‘yes’ to all seven of them.
“No I don’t want to commit suicide I just want to pass away.”
Mr Strike says while his family and friends were initially upset that he wanted to end his own life, they were reconciled to it now.
The WA Voluntary Euthanasia Society’s Murray Hindle says Mr Strike’s situation is common.
“Unfortunately, the way the law is at the present time, he’s not able to be helped of course,” Mr Hindle said.
“It means that people like Laurie, in that situation, and what he said backs up our argument 100 per cent, that people, some people, want to have certainty about their end and they want to have some hand in it.
“They don’t want it left to chance, so I said that the way the law is at the present time the only thing that one can do is perhaps join an organisation that has access to self deliverance methods, and that’s the way.
“At the present, until such time as we can get politicians onside, people are going to have to take matters into their own hands.”
Laurie Strike has terminal cancer. He’s done all he can to extend his life so he could get his affairs in order and to take care of his family. That’s all done now, and as the pain and discomfort worsens, Laurie’s last wish is to be able to take his life, his way. He joined Geoff Hutchison on Mornings.
Laurie’ s dying wish.
This should be written in essay style under the following headings and reference made to current literature throughout.
The paper should be written using the following section headings as a guide:
• Part 1: Death in the social context.
What does this media report tell us about how we think about death and dying in Australia? Consider the various points of view related to this story.
• Part 2: The role of palliative care.
Describe the role that palliative care has (or does not have) in this media report. Can you suggest how that could change? Consider all aspects of palliative care in this section. The Palliative Care Australia Palliative Standards for providing quality palliative care for all Australians (2005) may be useful.
• Part 3: Reflection
Imagine you are a nurse involved in this story. How will you cope with the issues raised?
Assignment weighting: 40%
Use your own work not submitted elsewhere for assessment that this work does not contain Copyright materials and that all sources are cited appropriately. Please be aware of the importance of Academic Integrity at Curtin and have read the Student Guidelines for Avoiding Plagiarism.
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