Duty and Courage

Meredith Doig / 08 March 2016

The Editor, The Age

Dear Sir,

Progress in human affairs has always been achieved by the courageous. Think Martin Luther King, the suffragettes, our own Eddie Mabo.

The Medical Board of Australia may be doing their duty, telling Dr Rodney Syme to not do anything “with the primary purpose ending a person’s life” (Medical Board of Australia investigates euthanasia doctor Rodney Syme, 7/3) but they must know, in their heart of hearts, that the time has come to change the law on voluntary assisted dying.

Changing the law in other countries, where assisted dying has come out from the shadows, has only been achieved where the medical profession has had the courage to face up to reality. That reality is that doctors help patients to die every day – but don’t acknowledge it for fear of prosecution. The reality is also that doctors may be reluctant to hand control, for end of life decisions, over to patients and their families – but that is the morally right thing to do.

Dr Meredith Doig
Rationalist Society of Australia

8 March 2016

All the more reason.