A very sad story about a brave man that granted his fathers’ final wish.
Importantly: Despite chronic cancer and suffering pain, the father was ineligible for Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying program.
Father: Colin Stratton
Son: Glenn Stratton
I CAN’T DO IT MYSELF
A devoted son who tearfully told his elderly father he loved him, before granting his final wish and shooting him, has been praised as a selfless “hero”.
Glenn Stratton, 53, faced the Bendigo Supreme Court on Friday, having previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the suicide of 80-year-old Colin Stratton.
The court heard Colin and his late wife Sue were both long-term supporters of euthanasia, and that he had repeatedly spoken to doctors about Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying program.
Despite having chronic cancer and suffering increasing amounts of pain, he was ineligible for the program.
On the morning he died, Colin visited his local GP clinic a final time and asked to be given medication that would end his life.
When the doctor refused it, Colin rang his son and told him he had decided “today’s my day”.
At home, Colin, unable to turn his rifle on himself, told his son he “needed a favour” and asked Glenn to pull the trigger.
“Don’t make me make a bloody mess of it, I can’t do it myself,” his father said.
Colin, a keen gardener, had hoped to die with a “peaceful pill and a cuppa” in his beloved garden, but a previous attempt to buy a euthanasia drug on the black market saw him scammed out of money.
The court heard the father and son said their final goodbyes, including that they loved each other, before Glenn closed his eyes and pulled the trigger.
Glenn’s sister Donna arrived home to find him sobbing in the backyard. She told the court that her brother had “sacrificed himself” to give their father the dignified, painless end “he deserved”.
Most of the extended family had travelled to Cairns for Colin’s final holiday before he died.
Donna said her father’s illnesses had increasingly “robbed him of the things he loved in life”, including the taste of good food and wine.
“Dad had deliberated over this for some time,” she said.
She said her brother had been punished enough by being locked up for the funeral, after initially being charged with murder.
She said her brother helping their dad to die may have been “legally wrong” but it was “the most selfless act that anyone could have done”.
The defendant’s brother, Searle, told the court: “My new hero is now my brother. He sacrificed his freedom in the greatest act of love.”
One of Colin’s grandchildren, Daniel Devereaux, said of his Pa: “They don’t make them like they used to.
“He wasn’t a rock, he was a mountain, an immovable object and a guiding force in our family.
“The health system had failed him and would not let him end his life on his own terms.”
Stratton’s barrister, Shane Gardner, urged Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth to sentence his client in a way that would allow him to travel to New South Wales for Christmas.
Prosecutors are not pushing for him to serve any more time behind bars and described his motives as “altruistic”.
Justice Hollingworth will sentence him next Thursday. firstname.lastname@example.org
Herald Sun – I CAN’T DO IT MYSELF by CRAIG DUNLOP
Friday, Dec 3, 2021