Legendary Australian television journalist Andrew Denton has tonight spoken out strongly in support of voluntary assisted dying on The Project.
Denton has undertaken a year long period of research and travelling the world for an upcoming podcast series he plans to broadcast that will document his findings into the issue of euthanasia in Australia.
He delivered a landmark speech on the issue in Melbourne tonight at the annual Di Gribble Argument and hopes to create a national debate on people’s rights to ‘die peacefully and on their own terms’.
As reported on The Project, his year long research project was inspired by his father Kit Denton’s long and painful death, which Andrew felt was unnecessary and undignified.
Earlier today, Denton told the ABC’s Radio National his interest in the issue started 18 years ago “when I watched my own father die badly after three days of pain and I remember thinking then why was this necessary”.
He believes his own father would have viewed euthanasia as a ‘compassionate and humane thing.’
Over the last 20 years there have been more than 16 failed attempts by both state and federal governments to legalise voluntary assisted death in Australia.
“It is your choice and that is what I am arguing for, at the end of your life it should be your choice,” Denton said.
The Denton podcast series will look at all sides of the debate – and interviews people from all perspectives from anti-euthanasia activists, to officials in states that have sanctioned euthanasia.
As soon as he began the research project he found people from all walks of life would approach him and tell them their own stories in support of voluntary assisted dying.
Denton travelled to Oregon, Belgium and the Netherlands to explore different experiences and legal approaches to voluntary euthanasia.