HARD EVIDENCE: Sue Brooks, Scott Einam, Doreen Wright and Paul Smith give evidence at the parliamentary inquiry into voluntary assisted dying.
HARD EVIDENCE: Sue Brooks, Scott Einam, Doreen Wright and Paul Smith give evidence at the parliamentary inquiry into voluntary assisted dying. Blake Antrobus

DYING WITH DIGNITY: Panel hears heart-breaking evidence

FIGHTING back tears, Sue Brooks spoke of her desperate wish to help her father die.

Riddled with health problems, Ms Brooks' 93-year-old father requires constant care, which she provides at her Hervey Bay home.

Apart from being legally blind and deaf, and taking antibiotics for his enlarged prostate, his terrible anxiety meant he had to be sedated to keep him calm, she said.

Ms Brooks said if the law allowed it, she would help her father end his life.

"My wish is that he dies at home, I will not assist him to die as I do not want to go to jail," Ms Brooks said.

"The prospect of jail is the one and only reason that keeps me from planning to actively help my dad to die peacefully.

"The dad I knew from times past would be horrified if he could see himself now."

Speaking before a packed crowd at Hervey Bay RSL, Ms Brooks was one of several residents who addressed a select panel of Queensland MPs on Monday afternoon.

She was giving evidence as part of a state-wide inquiry into voluntary assisted dying in Queensland.

Ms Brooks said her parents told her through their lives if they could not feed or care for themselves, they didn't want to live any more.

"With dad, I'm watching him every single day, it's not time for him to die now, but it will soon be," she said.

"A triage (at hospital) does not accommodate for a man with no short-term memory and advanced dementia, who needs to go to the toilet every five minutes."

Fellow panellist Scott Einam detailed how he lost his wife at 47 to motor neurone disease.

He told the panel in the last year of her life, he "listened to her every night asking if she could die".

"I wish I could have helped her... she died with no dignity, lots of shame and embarrassment," he said.

"That's not a way to die, not when you're 47 and your mind is 100 per cent."

Paul Smith, who lost his son to an aggressive cancer in March this year, said he thought it was "absolute nonsense" for palliative care doctors to suggest no-one was suffering in care.

"My son, even post-mortem, his muscles were still activating in pain," Mr Smith said.

The inquiry, today being held in Rockhampton, continues.

If you or somebody you know needs assistance phone Lifeline on 131114.



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