'This is the kindest death I can give my family and friends'
IN A stern and frank message written from Switzerland, hours ahead before ending her life on her own terms at the age of 90, Ballina resident Laura Henkel expressed her hopes and wishes for the world she was about to leave behind.
Laura Henkel passed away in her sleep at a clinic in Basel, Switzerland, on Friday at 2.49pm local time ( 00.49am Friday, AEDT), her daughter Cathy Henkel confirmed via social media.
Ms Henkel travelled from Ballina to Basel, Switzeland, last week, and entered a facility where she was planning to end her life overnight.
She said she would be dying in her sleep, surrounded by her family.
"This is the kindest death I can give my family and friends - no shock, no self-reproach, no guilt, no 'if-only-I'd-had-time' syndrome, just straight forward clean grief, which has to happen anyway," she said.
Mrs Henkel had a final message to those who disagree with her stance on assisted death due to religious reasons.
"They can carry on suffering to their heart's content. This law really would have nothing to do with them. Even the Bible says we are all responsible for ourselves. Give us the right to exercise that principle and make our own choices."
She added that the activist within her wanted to have one last say.
"I am very depressed by what is not happening in the world, in spite of warnings going back 40 to 50 years," she said.
"I don't want to be in this world next year, when temperatures are predicted to reach 50 degrees. They're even predicting this next week.
"I don't want to be around when practically the whole of Australia is on fire, when we are grubbing for water and our leaders are waiting for the Rapture.
"I don't want to be a refugee carried off to an emergency camp (I feel too old for such adventures).
"I don't want to be a guinea pig for the medical profession to find out how long they can keep a human breathing, never mind their quality of life.
"I feel the world is going the wrong way, towards nationalism (the UK and US putting their countries first) instead of globalisation (we will have to act globally to solve problems that know no borders).
"I feel climate change is not the biggest challenge. It is over population, which in itself is causing climate change. This is another hidden, forbidden subject that drastically needs airing and action.
"I don't think there is any hope of successfully tackling climate change unless and until over population is addressed first. As populations explode, and some countries can't support them, people are fleeing as refugees to find a better life and who can blame them. But when these counties too become saturated and can take no more, there will be bloodshed, war and confusion. Educating girls and stop demonising abortion would be a good first step. And a global summit, bringing the best minds together to find urgent solutions."
Mrs Henkel finished her statement on social media saying goodbye and "thanks for all the fish".
"To all activists: Good Luck".