Former director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery AM QC shared his support for voluntary euthanasia yesterday (15 November) at a New South Wales parliamentary forum on the rights of the terminally ill.
Discussing a private member's bill for assisted suicide in NSW - introduced to parliament by NSW Greens member Cate Faehrmann in August this year - Cowdery was joined by speakers Richard Ackland, journalist and lawyer; Mike Bowers, photographer and host of Talking Pictures on ABC's Insiders program; Jane Caro, media commentator and Gruen Transfer panellist; Neil Francis, CEO of YourLastRight.com; Marshall Perron, former chief minister of the Northern Territory (1988 to 1995); and Faehrmann.
As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, Cowdery told the forum (supported by The Greens and Dying with Dignity) that the law should not be applied to every component of life, referencing the case of a man prosecuted for assisting his wife's suicide, who had a debilitating disease.
Cowdery reportedly told the forum: "His case was not one for the criminal law. His case was one for some other kind of regime to have in hand that would enable appropriate steps to be taken with the full consent of the person who was surrendering her right to life."