Money, Morphine and the good Doctors.

Mr. Packer is dead.

Money seems to be able to buy you anything you want, even death at the time of your choosing.

I was working in an allied health role in the Northern Territory for the nine months that Australians had a Rights Of the Terminally Ill Act (ROTI), commonly called “The Euthanasia Bill”. The ROTI Act was overturned by the federal government in March 1997. Effectively the right to test if you qualified for the strict criteria to access ROTI and potentially die at the time of your choosing (as opposed to suicide), was taken away from an individual and their medical carers- and returned to god and palliative care.

But not if you are rich. If you are rich, I am sure it is possible to have your carefully chosen doctors organise morphine and have your death with your family around you in your home.

“This is my time.” – said Mr. Packer.

In this country, money can buy you a way around god and Justice Minister Senator Ellison deciding your quality of life.

It can buy you a good death.

We all deserve that.

Morpheus and Isis

Morpheus and Iris, 1811. Guerin, Pierre Narcisse from here

Comments spamproofed by Akismet

Trackback disabled until further notice.

9 Responses to “Money, Morphine and the good Doctors.”

  1. Le Driver Says:

    I like your new home.

    Ideological oppression works like school bullying a lot of the time. If you’re powerful enough, the rules just don’t apply.

  2. David Collett Says:

    Please ensure that when I die, I’m not called a friend by either Alan Jones or John Howard. That would be too much.

  3. Suki Says:

    Thanks Le Driver,

    So true, the corporate world often behaves just like a massive schoolyard. As though the pupils have just changed uniforms and gotten taller, as opposed to having grown up.

  4. Suki Says:

    *grinning* – I hadn’t thought of it that way.

  5. David Collett Says:

    I had some thoughts about Packer this morning. Love your input.


    I was wondering if at the end Packer reflected back on his life and passed a judgement.

    It’s something I think about ocassionally, whether my life is worth living, but I’m philosophical in my outlook on life. I don’t think it’s a universalisable trait.

    Did Packer look back on his life and make a judgement? What if at the end he didn’t. What if at the end did he just cursed his stupid body for failing him, cursed his doctors for not being able to cure him and died?

    Did he find his life wanting at the end? Did he even look back? Does it matter now that he’s beyond all feeling and thought?

    I also heard that he was bullied by his father. I wonder if he came to terms with this, or understood what it did to him as a person, if anything – or whether it just drove him on as an unconcious emotion.

    If it was his driver and he didn’t see it, what does one say at this point – he was unconcious of the emotions and pains which drove him, even at the very end. It’s almost like a story without a climax or a conclusion…

    This is starting to sounds almost like the plot of a short story, like Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Illych”.

    Too weird. 🙂

  6. Suki Says:

    Mr. Packer’s personality was set some time ago.
    His reputation, influence, power and money would have kept most people from speaking honestly to him (let alone question him).

    Pragmatism would be high on his list.
    He seemed to have left unsaid instructions, love or both for his son James, who was whisked back from the Maldives. There was no alternative for James or his father. The Morphine was carefully titrated.

    Kerry would have departed knowing that death was at the time of his choosing.
    He has left nothing undone, unsaid, unfixed.

  7. jennifer Says:

    Kerry would have had a different perspective on the world than most of us do. I don’t know why the everyday person cannot be equally as pragmatic about his death and more tuned into their own lives. We could all be more actors (and actresses) and less the passive observer of someone else’s achievements.

  8. David Collett Says:

    Suki – It makes sense. A pragmatist in life and a pragmatist in death. We live out our personalities, even to the very end.

    Jennifer – I don’t know. I don’t think we are either passive observers of other people’s achievements or achievers. I think we can’t help but achieve stuff.

    For example, my achievements this morning include finding interesting stuff to read on the blogosphere, thinking about it, writing some (hopefully) interesting comments. None of these were passive. All of these were achievements.

    That society applauds Packer’s achievements rather than mine, is of course a property of society. But it does not diminish my achievements or the value and happiness they bring to me.

    To live, is to act, is to achieve.

  9. Brownie Says:

    David Collett said: I also heard that he was bullied by his father. I wonder if he came to terms with this …
    is the fact that Packer was buried at Ellerston despite the fact that the Packer Family Mausoleum is the largest at South Head Cemetery, a clue ?

Leave a Reply