This young woman had been terrified of this possibility which is why she put out a call for Nembutal, on the Internet. Successful at obtaining Nembutal, because of the law she kept the drug hidden at her parents’ home. When the bowel blockage occurred, Angelique was in the hospice yet her Nembutal was at home. She lost her chance to take control.
Shortly before she died, Angie made a video diary. In it she pleaded with Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, to once again, legalise voluntary euthanasia in Australia. Angelique’s tragic story shows many things, including why a modern, civilised society needs the best palliative care and voluntary euthanasia/ assisted suicide. Her story is told in the feature documentary ‘35 Letters’ which won the 2015 Sydney Film Festival.
At Exit, we are frequently approached by people who tell us that their palliative care is the best. But, like Angelique, they still wish to be in control of their death. They say that while they might not be in pain right now, the quality of their life is nonetheless seriously affected by their illness. They know that there is often nothing that modern palliative medicine can do about it.
Some of these people are so weak that they cannot move unassisted. Others have shortness of breath which makes independent living impossible. For a significant number of people, it is non-medical issues that have most impact upon the quality of their life.