Author(s): Rodney Syme
Rodney Syme has been an advocate for medically assisted dying for more than twenty years. In Time to Die he considers not only the ordeals experienced at the end of life, but also the suffering endured by those who are not dying but are in incurable pain. He shows through the stories of these people and their families, that their torment is exacerbated by the unknown length of their state. As confronting as these issues are, debate around assisted dying is the sign of a mature and compassionate society. In Time to Die, Syme again leads the conversation.
Rodney Syme has been in medical practice for fifty-three years. He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1959 and became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1964. He has had extensive experience with cancer patients and with people with severe spinal injuries. He believes in the rights of individuals to determine when, where and how their lives will end. He has been president of Dying with Dignity Victoria for ten years and has described some of his experiences in palliating suffering through the provision of advice and medication in his book A Good Death (MUP 2008).