A book that provokes people to think about end of life issues and find out the facts before voting in the upcoming binding referendum has been published by local author Caralise Trayes, of Manly.
Caralise, a journalist and mother of two, has shared her own process of investigation, the swings and roundabouts of grappling with the issue, and her conclusions.
She completed her self-published book, The Final Choice – End of Life Suffering: is Assisted Dying The Answer? in just a few months, conducting interviews with people with wide ranging views including doctors, ethicists, clerics, politicians and disabled people.
She says that she realised early in the process that the referendum was not a simple ‘in favour or not’ proposition but about whether or not to bring into law an already completed piece of legislation, the End of Life Choice Act.
The details of what that law provides for, therefore, became critically important.
Caralise says anyone voting in the referendum should not only read the Act (search for it at legislation.govt.nz) but also analyse its effectiveness and ask questions.
“’Will it protect vulnerable citizens, how will we find lawbreakers, is six months a good timeframe’ are among the questions I ask in the book,” Caralise says. “Also, will it bring relief to people suffering and why is there resistance to it?”
Caralise says there are incredibly caring people on both sides of the argument.
“It’s said that the compassionate choice is assisted dying, but I found those who oppose it are just as compassionate,” she says.
Rather than approach the topic from an impartial perspective – simply providing facts on both sides – the book is about Caralise’s personal journey, something she says makes it more reader-friendly.
“I like the honesty of a journey and I wanted people to read it. I didn’t want it to be too information-heavy.”
The book has got a lot of media attention.
“What is important about this debate is talking with the experts,” Caralise says. “I am no expert. I just wrote a book.”
WIN this book
Hibiscus Matters has two copies of The Final Choice to give away.
To be in to win, ‘like’ Hibiscus Matters on Facebook and message us your name and contact details, (mentioning The Final Choice giveaway), OR write your name, address and daytime phone number on the back of an envelope and post to The Final Choice, Hibiscus Matters, 21 Florence Ave, Orewa 0931. Entries close Friday, August 7.