Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
3 minute read
1 Mar 2021
7:00 pm

‘Allow us to die on our own terms’, two ask special commission

Bernadette Wicks

Dieter Harck and Dr Suzanne Walter say someone who has no idea what their suffering entails should not be allowed to tell them that they are not allowed to end their own lives.

Picture: iStock

“How can someone who doesn’t experience what you experience, dictate to you how you must die?” This was the question on Monday, when the 71-year-old retiree appeared before a special commission to testify in support of the bold legal challenge he and palliative care specialist Dr Suzanne Walter have launched to the country’s laws around assisted dying. They want the law changed to give effect to their rights to self-determination and allow for both physician-assisted suicide (PAS) - in which a doctor gives a patient a lethal dose of medication to administer him or herself - and physician-assisted euthanasia (PAE)...