"Let people pass away in their own time" widower says

Vic Sneyd wrote a letter to the editor on his view on euthanasia. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Vic Sneyd wrote a letter to the editor on his view on euthanasia. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

ROCKHAMPTON'S Vic Sneyd sat by his dying wife's side every day until she took her last breath.

He wanted her to be surrounded by love and family in her final few weeks and to leave this Earth in her own time.

For Vic, as hard as it was to see his wife of 39 years become more and more frail, he couldn't believe that there were countries in the world where ending another person's life, euthanasia, was legal.

Vic this week wrote an emotional letter where he said euthanasia was a form of murder and was no way to end a person's life.

"What right does someone have to end somebody else's life? I don't believe anybody has the right to do that," he said.

"To end a person's life is called killing whether it is by stabbing, choking or giving a dose of poison as a medicine. This is called murder.

"Every person has the right to live their full life given to them whether short or long and I don't want my country legalising euthanasia.

"I witnessed the passing of my darling wife being by her side all of the time during her last week. Let people pass away in their own time. Don't end their life. There's just no need for it."

Vic's wife, Phyllis, was diagnosed with cancer of the liver in 1992 at the age of 60 and after 12 months of chemotherapy and treatment, the cancer returned to the centre of her liver and eventually took her life in 1995.

In her final days, Vic never left her side and tried to ease her discomfort by reliving the fond memories they had made together over the years.

Vic said people shouldn't talk about the pain their loved one might be in at that time and instead share enjoyable memories and help them take their mind off their condition.

"Not once did I ask her if she was in pain," he said.

"We never spoke of what pain she had because I believe that only adds to a patient's discomfort.

"Why ask them if they are suffering? Ease the pain by not talking about it and letting them enjoy the life they have left.

"Most of the time it's the people around their loved one who can't bear to see them nearing the end.

"But that doesn't mean you should end their life with a dose of poison."

Topics:  death editors picks euthanasia murder terminal illness

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