Australian man exercises right to die

Christian Rossiter passes away after refusing medical care

An Australian man who won a landmark right to die case passed away on Monday. Christian Rossiter, 49, broke his spine in 2004 and became a spastic quadriplegic after falling last year. But after a drawn-out courtroom fight, the Western Australian state Supreme Court ruled in August that the nursing home where Rossiter was living must respect his right to refuse food and water, which he was being given through tubes. On Monday, he died of a chest infection, apparently after refusing medical treatment. “Death I suspect comes as quite a relief for Christian,” said John Hammond, the lawyer who represented Rossiter in court. “I think Christian will be remembered as someone who was very brave and took up a fight which will give a lot of people comfort.” Rossiter’s case underscores an apparent gap in Australian law: while patients have a right to refuse treatment, helping another to commit suicide is a crime.

CBC News

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