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The right to choose when you die has inspired a new book by surgeon Dr Rodney Syme

The discussion surrounding the right to die at a time of your choosing has inspired a new book, Time to Die.

Surgeon and author, Dr Rodney Syme, told Neil Mitchell it’s important individuals have the right to choose when they die.

‘Giving somebody control over the end of their life is the most important palliative action you can provide to someone.’

‘Where people cannot discuss the end of their life with their family, involve them in the decision, have their family share that moment with them, that’s very cruel.’ he said.

The Victorian state government is set to introduce legislation later this year related to assisted dying for the terminally ill. 

Dr Syme’s believes it should be acceptable to help someone to die even if they are not terminally ill, but have an advanced incurable illness.

‘Intolerable suffering is not simply confined to people who are terminally ill. To write a piece of legislation that confines it to them will leave a lot of people discriminated against.’ 

‘Political realities may be that the legislation needs to be, at this point, somewhat limited, but it won’t stop the debate going on if that’s all that happens.’ he said.

Click PLAY to hear the full interview.