When Scott Riddle returned to Australia last year after years spent working in San Francisco, he was fit and well, and looking forward to settling back into the Australian way of life with his young family.
But his shock diagnosis with cancer in July set him on a different path – as a campaigner for euthanasia in NSW.
Mr Riddle is calling on the NSW government to introduce voluntary assisted dying laws similar to those passed in Victoria last year.
Mr Riddle said being able to have some control over the way you die could help remove some of the fear about death for terminally ill people.
“There’s a fear of what your own death might be like, not only for you, but also for your family and friends,” he told nine.com.au.
Mr Riddle’s popular blog outlines his reasons for supporting assisted dying.
“Everyone has had different exposure to death,” he writes.
“For some the experience is peaceful and assuring. For some it’s awful and traumatic.”
Mr Riddle says often people’s experience of death leads them to ask family and friends, “Please don’t ever let that happen to me.”
Though Mr Riddle has recently been cleared of cancer after aggressive treatment, it’s highly likely the disease will return.
His illness has lead him to get involved with Dying with Dignity, an organisation that is lobbying for voluntary assisted dying laws across Australia.
Victoria’s assisted dying laws will come into force next year, and will allow people over the age of 18 to end their own lives. The law requires that the person has a terminal illness that means they have less than six months to live, and must have lived in Victoria for more than a year. Doctors must determine that the person is in intolerable pain and be of sound mind.