Flynn MP backs right to die as ‘sensible’

Ken O'Dowd wants Australia to have a conversation about the right to die.
Ken O'Dowd wants Australia to have a conversation about the right to die. Mara Pattison-Sowden

FLYNN MP Ken O'Dowd has personal stories told to him everyday, but on the issue of euthanasia his own experience might just pave the way to the party floor.

With the majority of his constituents ruling in favour of legalizing euthanasia in a recent mass survey, Mr O'Dowd reflected on the death of his own mother earlier this year.

"I have seen my mother die in the past couple of months, and towards the end she had enough and all she wanted to do was leave this world," he said.

"We have all been touched somewhere, where there is no good end to the story and that it might be; to end human suffering; the best option to consider euthanasia."

Around 5000 people participated in the survey, and over 60,000 were delivered to households across the region.

The MP said he hadn't been sure which way Flynn would swing, but the 55% sway in support of the practice was growing as the votes poured in.

It wasn't the first time the issue had taken centre stage in CQ.

In 2009 over 150 people attended a euthanasia workshop in Rockhampton, the large turnout surprising organisers.

"People do come up to me and ask ...a lot of them would like to see some law in place," Mr O'Dowd said.

"Some are a bit sceptical for good reason, but it would depend how the legislation is worded as well."

Though Mr O'Dowd said he did not expect the issue to come up soon, he said it may be seen in parliament next year.

He said it was time for the nation to give people the benefit of choice.

"It would be sensible for Australia to give our doctors the right when they know that the end is near...something should be done to end pain," he said.


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