Tribute to Loredana Alessio-Mulhall – Private Members' Statement
On 13 April 2019 Loredana Alessio-Mulhall passed away. Loredana was a mother, a teacher, a lover of languages and a lover of plants. In May 2013 Loredana was in the Chamber when my voluntary euthanasia bill was debated. She spoke to the media and told her story.
Loredana Alessio-Mulhall was a passionate advocate for Dying with Dignity NSW because she had multiple sclerosis, which affected her body for more than 20 years. By the time I met her in 2012—seven years ago—she was unable to move any part of her body.
Loredana was confined to a motorised wheelchair and had to answer the phone via a device that was essentially a straw that she blew into. She lived alone. Loredana had care in her small flat in Pyrmont for only six hours a day. For the rest of the time she was by herself, unable to move, unable to care for herself. She was taken to bed by carers and left all night, again by herself. Loredana pleaded with people in this place, via people who could do so but also via the media, to allow her to end her life with dignity before she lost what she was so afraid to lose, which was her voice and her ability to speak out for herself. I understand she was also in this Chamber in November 2017 when the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, which the Hon. Trevor Khan championed so much, failed by one vote.
Last year I saw Loredana again to see how she was. She had begun to weaken. Her voice was failing. Finally she passed away on 13 April 2019. She lived long enough to see Victoria successfully introduce legislation to facilitate dying with dignity and that legislation was finalised yesterday. People in Victoria are able to access those laws. In Loredana's memory, I look forward to working with members of this House to finally bring dying with dignity into New South Wales for people who are suffering just like Loredana.