CNN reports that an Australian man, Christian Rossiter, recently won his right to die, by refusing food and water, from the Australian Supreme Court. The case is interesting for two reasons: 1) Chief Justice Wayne Martin wrote “Mr. Rossiter is not a child, nor is he terminally ill, nor dying. He is not in a vegetative state, nor does he lack the capacity to communicate his wishes, and 2) Mr. Rossiter is a quadriplegic thus requiring the intervention of the nursing home workers (where he resides) to assist him with taking pain medications.
It is this latter point that lead Mr. Rossiter’s nursing home to file the suit seeking a declaration from the court that they would not face liability for assisting Mr. Rossiter with his wishes. In Australia one is able to make their own decision regarding their right to to die but assisting someone else in actualizing those wishes can lead to a life sentence.
It appears this is the first case of an individual not under a legal disability or otherwise lacking capacity that has made this decision in Australia.
Most ironic quote: “Rossiter appeared ‘very happy’ afterward.”