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Doctor believes assisted dying will receive more support after woman with terminal illness ended her own life

Doctor believes assisted dying will receive more support after woman with terminal illness ended her own life

23-year-old Lily Thai chose to end her life under new assisted dying laws in Australia

An advocate for the legalization of assisted dying has said that the death 23-year-old Lily Thai will garner more support for the cause.

Assisted dying remains illegal in most countries and is only permitted under highly restricted circumstances in those that do permit it, such as a patient suffering with an incurable and highly debilitating condition.

The debate around assisted dying remains heated, with its proponents arguing that it would allow for greater dignity in death. Others oppose it around concerns that the practice could become too widespread or be used too readily.

Following the death of 23-year-old Australian Lily Thai, the issue has once again come into the limelight.

Lily had suffered with a debilitating illness called autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy, or AAG. The disease causes a person's immune system to mistakenly attack its own nervous system.

She was permitted to voluntary end her life under new laws passed in Australia.

Lily Thai 'passed away peacefully' after a long illness.
Supplied/The Advertiser

Now, proponent of legalising voluntary assisted dying Dr. Philip Nitschke has claimed that the sad case will gain more support in favour of allowing assisted dying.

Speaking to The Advertiser, he said: "Elderly continue to express their will to be decision-makers, not limited by restrictive legislation."

"Many will persistently seek their own lethal drugs, or plan a final trip to Switzerland, the only place not regulating such assistance medically."

Dr Nitschke praised the reform to the law in Australia, but also said that there was still room for further advancement on the issue.

He said: "The SA [South Australia] laws are functioning, as evidenced by Lily. It's difficult to find detractors when considering those who used the legislation, mostly terminally ill or suffering from degenerative neurological diseases."

Safeguards in South Australia for assisted dying mean that a person who wishes to end their life via this process must make three separate requests and also be assessed by two doctors before the process is begun.

The 23-year-old chose to use the country's new assisted dying laws.
Supplied/The Advertiser

Lily spent her final days in a hospice surrounded by her loved ones. She died after the administration of a fast-acting medication intravenously, with her life ending quickly in less than ten seconds.

Her death announcement read: "Much loved daughter of Kate and Le. Treasured granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend. Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts."

She had lived with a condition which had left her in debilitating pain from the age of 17, leaving her largely bedridden and unable to care for herself.

During the last week of her life, Lily's friend Danika Pederzolli, 28, has accompanied her on a trip to the beach together. She captured an image of the pair enjoying the view of the sea and some McDonald's fries in an open ambulance.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/LilyThai

Topics: News, World News, Health, Australia