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(generated from captions) Could turn out to be one of the biggest wins of my career. Queenslander John Millman lost in 4 tight sets to the 15th seed John Isner. While Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber was upset by Dutch player Kiki Berteens.

Cloud across the southeastern States is producing some fairly widespread rainfall and the air mass in behind it is relatively cold. So once that moves through the Alpine areas we're expecting to see snow just about the higher peaks dropping down to about 1,200 meerpts. So widespread rainfall through the southeastern centres, it will ease as the day progresses. We're looking at rain through NSW, inland.
particularly over the eastern inland. This is where the falls will be best but very light and patchy falls about the coastal fringe. Now the front will move through the south-west of WA, this is also going to introduce some fairly widespread showers. Even the chance of a morning thunderstorm for Perth.

In the US Dallas Zoo has released video of a new arrival. A male African elephant born earlier this month. The calf was born to Malilo, one of several elephants rescued from drought-plagued Swaziland earlier this year. The baby elephant has been rolling around in hay and sticking close to its mother. The calf is expected to make its public debut in a couple of month's time. That's the latest from the ABC News room for u no. I'm Rachel Pupazzoni. Stay wus, Lateline is up next.

This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services.

Good evening, tonight we're talking about the subject that's not usually considered polite dinner party fare - death. Some famous Australians join us to discuss how and where we want to spend our final moments and the choices we make about the end of life.I had to give Mum permission to go. She was so - she was hanging on, hanging on and she was in strife, in big strife and I just sat down beside her and I said, "You know I love you and all the family love you and it's alright to go." And she was gone in 10 minutes.So tonight Lateline invites you to a most unusual dinner party, to talk about one of the great conversation taboos, how we die and whether we can have what some people describe as a good death. A new survey by the Australian Centre for Health Research shows most of us prefer to die at home but that only 14% of us manage to do so. That's one of the and
lowest rates in the developed world and one of the reasons is that most of
of us haven't talked about the end of our life with doctors, with family or friends. And only 1 in 3 Australians have actually documented their wishes. Well later, we release new Vote Compass results about how people feel about euthanasia and we debate the issue on whether to legislate on assisted dying with Lyle Shelton and Shayne Higson. First Margo Margot O'Neill explores death over dinner. We we invited people to dinner to talk about dying. It's called Death Over Dinner, not my cooking. The idea is to bring people together to talk about the kind of end-of-life care they want for themselves and their loved ones. Our host is Michael Hebb, the American inventor of death over dinner and to be honest, I'm not sure what to expect.Well firstly I want to acknowledge all of you for coming to something called the Death Dinner and for being brave enough to do so. About 3, maybe 4 years ago I was talking to a couple of physicians on a train and I asked them what was the most - what was most broken in the American medical system and they both answered immediately how we die. They just literally spout it, it came out of my head when I was sitting there. I said if we create dinner and talk about death do you think people would think I was crazy? And within 2 years of launching Death Over Dinner, there have been over 100,000 dinners hosted in 30 countries. And every dinner has started with us raising a glass individually to someone who is no longer with us. So to Donald. To Donald.To Perth.To Russ.To Russ.I'm going to get drunk by the time we get through all of these.I also describe this as the world's best drinking. Started with a light topic. Change gears a little bit. So imagine your funeral.Just a party. A celebration, you know. Tell funny stories, whatever, you know, give me a bad time, I don't care.I guess because of my career in comedy, I'm always worried about numbers, like whether people - whether anyone's going to turn up. I recently had - I turned 40 my friends threw a living funeral for me,, you know, they're like death guy. But I literally laid in a coffin that was made.Did you?Oh my god, we can edit this part out. No, leave it in, leave it in.So this was their desire to have this - to have you there so you had to lie there in the coffin and listen to them talk about you?Kind of like as a joke to just like pretty serious thing. And someone's like I'm going to make a living funeral coffin for him and they had this beautiful crafted thing and there was pallbearers and they smelt like whiskey.Did you get carry snd Yeah.This sounds crazy.Was it when they started throwing the dirt on you thought this is no good.Was it -It was extraordinary.How did it feel?The thing that was - the grievances, because people really opened up and that guy, he was an asshole. But the harder part than the grievances was having to accept the love. People, because when you have to sit and listen to someone loving you and you can't deflect and you can't squirm out of it. Like I was trapped having to listen to people talk about like their honest deep love and I realise we don't teach people how to accept love.

I think we would hope that we can die at home comfortable if that's what we want surrounded by people. That's not what happens. A lot of people don't know that they're dying, don't know that they've only got months to under a year to live. It's easier just to talk about giving you some medication or doing sminge - things for you to fix the about
problem at hand rather than talk about where you're headed. And we continue in the Western world to harm thousands of patients a year that
by giving them unwanted treatments that are probably not prolonging their lives, that are probably just prolonging their dying and not helping them.Is it true that a lot of doctors don't, if they know that what they have is terminal, they don't go through a lot of that treatment?When you survey doctors about what care they would want, we're pretty pragmatic and say we would go for comfort over, you that's
know, life-prolonging therapy. Yes, information,
that's true.We don't have the information, either. I mean if making the decision is easy to say it's like to die at home but I think part of that is a real kind of romanticised idea. I imagine I'd be in a big bed and lots of blankets for some reason.Clean sheets.Yeah, yeah. We don't know. You have to have a doctor there, are there nurses?My uncle died at home, he's Aboriginal so funerals are weddings, we go to more funerals than weddings. My dad never cries, he's like my uncle's dead and so we pull over, we all cry. We start driving and then 1.5 hours later we get another call from Dad, Dad's like Jen, how do you know when someone's dead? What do you mean? He's like "How do you know that they're dead?" He told me he was dead and he's like "No, no, he wasn't, we were wrong. He was just asleep, we thought he was dead." I don't know what death looks like. We don't talk about it. We're so scared of anything that isn't moving forward.We had the experience with my mum where it was, you know, she'd had Alzheimer's for a long time. It was something we were actually looking forward to, you know, her going. So she was in palliative care and she was, you know, she's going to go, it's going to happen tonight. And then there was this moment where Mum sort of sat up and went "I'd like some jelly." And the nurse, she had an Irish accent, I'm sure I'm not making that up, she said, "It's a miracle, your mother's come back to us." And my sister and I literally went "No, no." And it was just this incredible dogged fight that rallied again and that's what I think is the amazing thing about death is that no-one knows really. I think that is one of the big issues, if you've never seen someone die it's really scary when they start breathing funny and if they're incontinent, if they suddenly wake up and ask for jelly, you know, and you think they're dead and they're not. There's all these things that are really confronting and scary. And having good palliative care nurses available in the community to give medications, change morphine pumps, reassure relatives, all those things, if you align your care to what someone wants, people are more comfortable, they have less pain and suffering, they probably get home more. They also seem to live longer.I'd like the ask you, Neil, what you think of a living will?I think anything that prepares you and your family for your - the week, month, day, whatever, that you're dying is helpful. So I think livings will,or discussions, anything is all good.But are they binding because I've been in around nursing homes for about 5 or 6 years and if I could avoid that I would really want to.I mean you're getting into the kind of legal debate about whether - how much will your living will or your advanced care plan be applied. There's no point saying - if you say I never want to be on a ventilator in intensive care and you have a reaction to a peanut and we could fix you up and be home in a day, it would be pity to die if you didn't want to. To say this is important to me, this is what I value. When people tend to value independence and dignity and not having pain and suffering above longevity. We ask people what really matters it doesn't appear to be living as long as possible at all costs, they want to live well. Is palliative care also in better in countries where they do have assisted dying, is there a correlation between that?So my only knowledge of that is from secondhand things I've read which has suggested that it improves palliative care in the countries where it was brought in because it focused people on the need to explore all the other options better. We can't let ourselves get too distracted by assisted dying legislation because assisted dying legislation comes in tomorrow it's not going to change much or anything for this problem we're seeing, this huge issue where patients don't know they're dying and because you can't apply assisted dying legislation if you can't talk about dying in the first place.Because of my age, I'm in straight.
the straight, I'm coming down the straight. I'm not going to get another lap, you know. So you know sort of your life is pretty finite and - but I try to have that conversation with my wife sometimes it just upsets her so much. I mean, you know,, her plans to want to go out before me but I don't know if that will happen.I think what I really do want to do, and this kind of happened after my sister passed away, is I just want to let my parents know that like I've had a really good life. I think my parents, you know, they were really great parents but I think it's this thing all the people that love me that I am so grateful that you've know,
loved me because I've had like, you know, I've had a very, very good life. I think that would be it. That's the thing, you know.There you go.The my grandmother, before she died, and you're right, they changed. But my sister, I wasn't I
there and I don't know if she knew I loved her.All these dinners you've attended what have you learnt from it?The biggest lesson is that people want to have this conversation and I've never seen one go badly. It's a conversation about life. It's not a conversation about death. It's using death as a mirror to see how you actually want to live.We all carry around these really sad before and afters, memories and thoughts about death and I think it's often better when you speak about them.I will go back to that quote, you know, we are born to die and in living we forget. Don't tuck it away for too much longer, it's really important. And the older you get the more important it becomes.

And we should point out that Death Over Dinner and the Australian take
Centre for Health Research don't take a position on voluntary euthanasia.

There's no doubting the issue of voluntary euthanasia is a contentious one. Neither of the major political parties in Australia wants to touch it but the your
ABC's Vote Compass survey asked for your view on the issue. It's already been a massive number of responses and a very clear result as Matt Wordsworth reports. Vote Compass has put forward this proposition. Terminally ill patients should be able to legally end their own lives with medical assistance. Based on more than 200,000 responses here's the overall result, 75% strongly or somewhat agreed. 9% were neutral, and 16% strongly or somewhat disagreed. We posed the same proposition during the State election campaigns in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and during the last federal election when we had 1.4 million responses. So the view is consistent and overwhelmingly in agreement. It's not just Vote Compass either, other surveys have medically
also found massive support for medically assisted dying.It's one of the issues which cuts across party alignment, cuts across party positions and falls into that category of moral issues, euthanasia, homosexuality, abortion. They're issues which is generally a conscience vote on, there isn't a party line on. The other issue, abortion, law reform, gay marriage seem to be dealt with. Euthanasia is still the great untouched issue.Why is this the great untouched issue? Vote Compass tells us there's overwhelming support between voters of the 3 biggest parties. It doesn't matter where you live, how old you are, your gender or even your level of education, support for voluntary euthanasia is at least 72% overall. Except when we break it down to religious affiliation. That's where we see opposition in greater numbers. 1 in 4 Protestants and just under 1 in 5 Catholics disagree with voluntary euthanasia and they're well represented in both parties.Political parties tend to avoid these sorts of moral issues because they tend to divide their own supporters. So things like same-sex marriage, euthanasia, capital punishment, abortion are issues in which party supporters are very different views and sometimes very strong views.That's not the only reason legislationing voluntary euthanasia can be easier said than done. How do you deal with depression? What if a relative can't communicate and a relative has power of attorney. Get that wrong and it's life or death.It's easy to say people shouldn't suffer in their last days. Ace easy to have that opinion. It's much harder to legislate and it's much harder to legislate the safeguards. Australia has come close, a voluntary euthanasia law was narrowly defeated in Tasmania in 2013 while the Northern Territory's laws were overturned by the Federal Government in 1997. But it would appear that sooner or later politicians across the country are going to have to tackle this issue. You can still take the survey at abc.net.au/votecompass. Next month both California and Canada with 75 million citizens between them will adopt voluntary euthanasia laws brought in after very long debates. In Canada, the laws came as a result of a Supreme Court test case.For an incurably ill Canadian suffering unbearable pain, the choice has long been clear - endure or take their own life. Today this country's top court called that choice cruel. Struck down the laws that created it and opened the door to a third option - doctor-assisted death.That was Canada and the Californian laws are modelled on the State of Oregon's 1997 Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally ill people to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal drugs expressly prescribed by doctors. Importantly, the doctors are not allowed to administer the drugs themselves and are able to opt out conscience. So
of the system as a matter of conscience. So could such a law be passed in Australia to give terminally ill people a choice on how to end their lives? I'm joined now by Lyle Shelton, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby and Shayne Higson of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party. She's now running for a Senate seat in NSW and. Thanks for being here. 75% of Australians believe terminally ill patients should be able to legally end their lives with medical assistance. Do those Vote Compass figures, 200,000 people in this case, indicate you're on the wrong side of this debate?No, I don't think so. Usually the polls show even higher numbers, around into the 80s and that's been well known for some time. But what happens is when parliamentarians have a close look at this, as they have done I think there's been in the order of about 10 or 11 euthanasia bills at State and federal level since 2008 and all of those have had comprehensive parliamentary public inquiries where both sides of the evidence has been put and parliamentarians having closely looked at it have opted not to legislate it because it's not seen as safe, it's too put
dangerous, the safeguards can't be put in place to protect the vulnerable who might be coerced or pressured and also the advances in palliative care have been seen to be quite adequate.Let's go to Shayne Higson, your spon to that and I will ask about - palliative care was mentioned at the end there so after you've responded I'll ask about your mother's case.I disagree with Lyle obviously. I don't feel the politicians have looked closely at it. In overseas jurisdictions, you mentioned Canada, California,sh Canada in particular did a really in-depth research of all the evidence from Europe, the countries in Europe where it's been legal for some time, and Oregon, where it's been legal for 2 decades now. And all that evidence shows that the safeguards do work and but our politicians here in Australia, you know, won't even let it get to the committee stage. There's been 51 bills related to this issue, 39 of those have been proposing a law and unfortunately I don't think the politicians do look at the evidence.Shayne, tell us how your experience of your mother's death propeled you into this debate.My mum died in late 2012. She had an She
aggressive form of brain cancer. She knew that there was nothing that doctors could do to save her life, they couldn't operate, they couldn't do radiation therapy. She did have some palliative chemotherapy which probably extended her life a little bit, gave her a few extra months. But the quality of life was not good. She deteriorated fairly rapidly, had no quality of life by the end, was like a ragdoll, couldn't read, couldn't write, could hardly talk in the end, was bedridden, paralysed down one side. But my mum loved life. She had a wonderful, loving family, 3 daughters, a partner, 5 beautiful grandchildren who she just adored and she wanted to be around for a long time. But at the end, she was pleading with all of us to end her life. She said to me more than one occasion, "Please, just put something on the bedside table." But of course I couldn't do that. I mean it's against the law but I also didn't even know at that stage. I was very naive. I trusted that the doctors would do something and so did Mum. terminal
In the end they put her into terminal sedation which is the last resort of palliative care. Did that work briefly?No, it didn't guarantee a peaceful end. Mum wanted to avoid the end stage of brain cancer. It's one of the nasty ones. There's a few nasty cancers and I'm sure every palliative care professional would admit that there are some really nasty diseases and the end stage is not good. Mum wanted to avoid that. And we that
thought that in this day and age that people wouldn't have to suffer and I thought if I was with my mum through the whole journey that I could ensure that she wouldn't suffer. But no, the last 5 days, she wanted to die at home as most people do, and we thought that would be possible but it wasn't. So we did put Mum into palliative care for the last 5 days and there was suffering. She seizured on the first night, you know, a lot of symptoms and the trouble is the palliative care staff, the nurses are wonderful and everyone says that and I totally agree. And palliative care works for the majority of people who are dying in Australia and around the world. This is not about an alternative to palliative care. It should be an option within palliative care and that's how it operates overseas. Let's hear from Lyle Shelton on that. Aren't you moved by cases change
like that and there needs to be a change in the law to allow a choice for someone in that terminal situation with no way out to alleviate suffering?Of course I'm moved by that, Tony, and I'm sure all of your viewers tonight are. I mean no-one wants to see their loved ones suffer. None of us want to suffer. But I guess euthanasia is an issue of public policy and the evidence that's been put before the many, many parliamentary inquiries by palliative care experts would say if someone is suffering there generally is, b generally is because they're not receiving the sort of palliative care that they should be receiving. Now, no palliative care expert will say that all patients can be pain free or have an end-of-life experience that one would want, but the vast majority can and this is public policy. And so if you change the law around assisted dying or euthanasia or assisted suicide where you're actually intervening with a lethal substance to end someone's life -Or as in the Oregon case, the opportunity is given for the person to be given the substance to administer to themselves. Can you see a fundamental difference there?I can.The doctors don't administer, they
they can opt out of the system if they wish to and the person themselves has the security of knowing they have that lethal medicine and, in fact, only 33% of people use it.Yeah, no, I do understand those figures, Tony. I guess there's still the issue of the vulnerable, though, and what happens. Human nature is the powerful thing. If the family's gathering around and the estate's at stake, pressure can be put on granny. Maybe you should have the pill on the bedside.That's a slippery slope argument.They are are
important arguments though.They are but you said there's no evidence. I want to hear from Shayne, in Oregon, 1997, quite a long time for these laws to be in operation. Is there evidence that they are working?Absolutely, the evidence is overwhelming. They're working in Oregon and they're working in Europe. There's no evidence of a slippery slope and certainly in those countries, the representative groups of the elderly and the disabled, because of course the disabled is the other argument that our opponents use, that they're going to be vulnerable, that they'd could be coerced. There is absolutely no evidence of that from the overseas evidence.Is that the model that you would favour, a model where the doctors can opt out, where the patient themselves administers their own lethal medicine because I imagine it would be difficult for your mother to have taken advantage of that, for example?Yes, I think the Oregon, the self-administering thing is a good thing because I can sympathise with some doctors who would find it difficult to, you know, inject someone and then have them end. It certainly is, you know, would seem like a big step. But it's not for all of them. I mean it definitely would have to be voluntary so that the doctors could opt out and I see no problem in it being able to be self-administered. In some ways dying, I know that my mother, I can picture and I know because I've certainly heard about lots of cases, where you're with your family,sh you know, and 15 days before Mum died that's when she really would have taken it and because she was paralysed, yes, maybe one of us might have had to have held the cup but the thing is she would have died peacefully with the people that she loved.Is your argument essentially a religious one, that that would be a sin, it would be tantamount to murder?No, it's not essentially - I mean people have religious views, obviously. But if we pick up a couple of points that Shayne made. One of the things that's not widely known about the Oregon situation. People are self-administering these poisons to end their lives. What's not known in some cases how long does it take someone to die if a doctor's not around? Taking a poison is just not a simple matter and so there have been cases where it's taken a prolonged period for someone to die. Shayne mentioned in Europe the examples there how it's supposedly working well. Well we saw the other day, last year in Belgium, a 20-year-old young woman who had been sexually abused, suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, her psychiatrist recommended euthanasia and the Dutch -But you know by the way the laws in California and Oregon forbid psychological or psychiatric Shayne
reasons.That may be the case but Shayne was just saying that the laws in Europe, which Canada has looked at are supposedly working. The final word really.I'd just like to say on the thing about the 24-year-old, have you actually read the report about her case or have you just read the headline?I've read the media reports about it. And the article that was in the ABC religion and ethics.Finish your point.Her case, like all of the individual cases, the opponents of voluntary euthanasia just take a small part of the story and then, you know, put out their sort of press release based on that and the we
facts surrounding that case, which we don't have time to go into, show a very different story. But I'd Australia, as
just like to point out here in Australia, as in Oregon, we are not talking about people with psychiatric illness. That yet in Belgium and the Netherlands, yes, they go by unbearable and untreatable suffering and very small number of people it's psychiatric.Sorry to cut you both time
off there but that's all we have time for. We'll have to come back length.
and debate this again at more length. Thank you very much. And that's all we have time for on Lateline. You can find all tonight's stories, interviews, etc, on our website. I'll see you again tomorrow. Goodnight.

This program is not captioned.

This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services.

Great to have your company this Wednesday evening. Also ahead - the Afghan Taliban appoints a new head to replace its leader, killed in a drone strike. And Russia's Olympic chances worsen as more athletes test positive.I feel very sad and of course very angry, because all that's going on now, it's unfair. The Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has tonight suggested that more asylum seeker boats travelled to Australia after live cattle export were suspended back in 2011. Mr Joyce made the comments at the ABC's regional leaders' debate in Goulburn. He says Australia was a Indonesia
significant exporter of meat to Indonesia at the time. He says the rise in asylum seeker boats seemed to coincide with the then Labor Government's decision to suspend the same
live exports.It was around about the same time that we started seeing a lot of people arriving in boats in Australia.Chris...Sorry, Barnaby Joyce, I have to stop you there for a second. Do you genuinely believe that those two things were linked? Barnaby Joyce? I think that our capacity to have a strong working relationship with Indonesia is affected by our - by them relying on us to be reliable suppliers of...You do realise that you're suggesting that the