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I’m Christian Rossiter and I’d like to die

14 August, 2009

“I’m Christian Rossiter and I’d like to die. I am a prisoner in my own body. I can’t move. I can’t even wipe the tears from my eyes.”

“I have no fear of death – just pain. I only fear pain.”

The ABC, in what it called a landmark decision, reports that the Supreme Court of Western Australia has confirmed that Mr. Rossiter can refuse food from his care provider, Brightwater Nursing Home. Chief Justice Wayne Martin said the provider would not be held criminally responsible. Mr. Rossiter is currently being fed through a tube in his stomach after developing spastic quadriplegia as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle.

Dr Scott Blackwell from Palliative Care WA Inc commented earlier:

“All Western Australians with legal decision-making capacity have the right to refuse medical treatment … courts in Australia and overseas have long considered artificial feeding – for example by a PEG tube – a medical treatment.”

Legality aside, talk to your loved ones today and ask them what their wishes would be in similar circumstances. Having been in a similiar situation there is a comfort in being confident of their wishes and setting them free.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. 14 August, 2009 6:06 pm

    Its tougher than you might think to ask those hard questions when someone you love is in this situation.

  2. 15 August, 2009 10:56 am

    True, so much emotion, but it can be helpful in putting aside personal grief to honour the other person’s wishes.

  3. 16 August, 2009 7:08 am

    My father died from Multiple Scleroses,and in the end He got pneumonia and when the nursing home transferred him to the hospital because they were concerned about the possibility that he might die. He was brave enough to refuse treatment, and he passed away two days later.
    I know squat about this chap in WA or his situation but refusing treatment is everybody’s right and I am personally glad that this right has been upheld by a court.
    Euthanasia campaigners are however acting like blood sucking vampires to attach themselves to this chaps plight as refusing treatment is a very long way from actively ending someone’s life.

  4. 17 August, 2009 9:58 am

    My grandma had cancer and her passing was assisted with morphine.

    It seems both ‘sides’ are attatching themselves to this case. It is such a huge issue but I think you should have the right to end your life and seek assistance if needed.

  5. 17 August, 2009 5:11 pm

    I agree in principle but I have some rather grave reservations that any change in the status quo could lead us to a position where some people could be pressured to “go” because they are inconvenient or that any laxity could be used to cover up murder ect.
    I know that some people will poo poo any suggestion of a “slippery slope”but we can’t deny that there are enough cases of people being knocked off before their time at present without making it easier for that to happen.

  6. 17 August, 2009 5:40 pm

    There is some merit in what you say Iain – probably with the hospitals leading the charge to free up the beds 😉

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