I have just returned from a lunchbox briefing organised by the Parliamentary Friends End-of-Life-Care Group. It was held to discuss advanced care planning, as part of encouraging people to take control of the last years and days of their life and to die with dignity. The guest speaker was Dr Robyn Brogan from North West Area Health Service and she discussed with the participants advanced-care planning. It is a message I really want to send to all Canberrans—and all Australians—about the need to have a conversation with your families on advanced-care planning and how you want to spend those last years of your life.
In the discussion, Dr Brogan talked about the need for dignity and how you need to have a conversation about what it means to you, and that the family ensures you are spending those last days of your life with dignity. We also discussed how important it was to have values of freedom and autonomy—to have a say in security, safety, certainty, routine and preferences, in terms of your diagnosis and your current situation, and in your prognosis, deterioration and concept of dying.
I do encourage all Australians—and all Canberrans— to have the conversation with their families about how they want to spend those last days of their lives or those last years of their lives—to discuss dying with dignity.