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Peace. Closure. Relief.
These are the words medical oncologist Dr Cameron McLaren uses to describe the experience of helping terminally ill Victorians end their lives under the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) scheme.
Dr McLaren says: “The cases I’ve been involved in have been overwhelmingly positive. They've relieved suffering and given the family a moment of closure to say goodbye to their loved one.”
We all deserve the right to go gently – with love and dignity, not fear and distress.
Since VAD legislation passed in Victoria, Dr McLaren says he has seen an enormous shift in his patients’ anxiety. Not everyone chooses a legal assisted death, but Dr McLaren says the palliative effect of having the right to do so is profound.
“The partner of one patient told me, ‘He perked up so much. He feels he's being listened to and respected. He has hope he won’t be forced to live through something he doesn't want’.
“It's a great relief to people who are facing the great unknown. Not knowing how you will die is very frightening. Now people have the comfort of knowing they can have some control.”
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