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Thursday, 24 May 2018
Page: 4582

Mr HART (Bass) (13:39): I would like to commend the member for Bruce for his heartfelt contribution today. I had intended to speak on the topic of palliative care, because this is National Palliative Care Week. Of course, following that contribution, anything that I could do from a prepared speech would pale into insignificance. But he's raised the important issue about disclosing to your loved ones your intentions for how you choose to depart this earth. That's vitally important, because you need to understand that, when you are admitted to a hospital for medical treatment and you're not suffering from a terminal illness, you have the right to be consulted as to what medical treatment you're going to receive, but unfortunately, when you have a terminal illness, somehow your right to be fully consulted and have your wishes carried out in connection with your death becomes less important. Too many Australians die in hospitals, and around a third die in nursing homes or in aged care. We need to allow people to spend the last days of their life at home in the arms of their loved ones, just as described by the member for Bruce. It's vitally important that you take the time to discuss with your relatives how it is that you wish end-of-life care to proceed.