Determined retiree's five-year death wish
GLADSTONE retiree Frank Senica is on a mission to decide when he wants to die and he wants it done with dignity.
Mr Senica, 82, has battled a number of health issues over the past 10-15 years including leukaemia and type 2 diabetes, while also undergoing an upper aorta replacement and pacemaker insertion.
He's had other health issues as well but is of sound mind and body at the moment despite his medical history.
However should that change, he wants to have control over when he dies and not be dictated by political bureaucracy.
Mr Senica was one of thousands of Queenslanders to make a submission to the inquiry into aged care, end-of-life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying.
His written submission to the committee outlined a unique idea in order to take the confusion, angst and legal concerns out of the equation when it comes to euthanasia.
Mr Senica would like to see a register implemented so people like himself can outline their intentions.
"I'm 82-and-a-half years of age and in my case I want to pre-date my euthanasia by booking five years in advance under the condition that I have medical problems - which I do right now," Mr Senica said.
"I suspect all these problems aren't going to get any better in five-and-a-half years, by the year 2025, so under those circumstances I'd like to be euthanised."
Mr Senica said the five-year time frame could only be extended and not brought forward to an earlier date.
"That's the safety net," he said. "I could die within those five years but it would work so you can't come back from 2025 to 2023 if your son or daughter says 'dad you're getting pretty bad'.
"Pre-date it five years in advance only for the people who know they have medical problems - you wouldn't pre-date anything if you are ok.
"After five years if you still felt fine - and it's up to you - then you can advance it year by year."
In November 2017, Victoria passed assisted dying laws after conducting its own state parliamentary inquiry - which is currently happening in Queensland.
Those laws came into effect on June 19 and feature 68 safeguards plus a requirement for the patient to be assessed by two doctors.
"People should have more rights than what the politicians want to give you pertaining to your euthanasia," Mr Senica said.
"In Victoria you've got to have two doctors say you're terminally ill otherwise euthanasia is no good to you."
Central Queensland residents will have their chance to attend and/or speak at upcoming public hearings on aged care, end-of-life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying.
There are three public hearings being held in CQ, with the closest one being in Rockhampton on July 17.
The committee will submit its report to the Legislative Assembly by November 30.
When: July 16, 12-3pm at Burnett Riverside Hotel, 7 Quay St.
When: July 17, 2.30-5.30pm at Frenchville Sports Club, 105 Clifton St.
To register: email qldparlcomm.snapforms.com.au/form/rockhampton or call 3553 6626 or 1800 504 022.