CONVERSATIONS surrounding euthanasia should be resurfaced according to legendary Aussie actor Michael Caton.
The 72-year-old was in Ballarat on Tuesday to promote his upcoming film Last Cab to Darwin which touches on the controversial topic of intentionally ending one’s own life.
“I’ve taken a couple of people through their death and it’s one thing to have the right to euthanasia but it’s another thing to exercise that right because the life force in people is so strong.
“But you’d like to think if things got really too tough that there was an easier way out.
“My mum died a couple of years ago at 103 and I sort of had to give her permission that it was ok to go and when I gave her that permission, she was gone five minutes later.”
The upcoming release of Last Cab to Darwin coincides with a series of public hearings to be held this week surrounding end of life choices.
Hosted by the Victorian Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee, the hearings will provide an opportunity to hear from local health and aged-care service providers as well as members from the community.
Caton said it was about time Australia came up with an appropriate system surrounding end of life choices.
“(We) have to have safeguards but the European countries have managed to have (the euthanasia) debate and come up with a system that suits them so why not Australia?” Caton said.
“We used to be innovators and now we’re followers, and followers at a great distance.”
Directed by Jeremy Sims, Last Cab to Darwin follows the story of Rex (Caton), a loner taxi driver who has just been told he has only months to live.
In a bid to die on his own terms, Rex drives his cab across the great Aussie outback to Darwin where euthanasia has been legalised.
But Caton said Last Cab to Darwin wasn’t just a film about euthanasia, but also about love, life and the great outdoors.
“It has all the elements that you need. It’s got the love story, it’s got comedy, it’s got pathos, (and) it’s a road movie...” Caton said.
“(There are) a lot of things coming out of the film – giving reconciliation a second thought, promoting a discussion on euthanasia, and then what a wonderful country we have.”
Last Cab to Darwin will be released in Australian cinemas on August 6.