7.30 Report: The suicide of a palliative care leader was a message to politicians

Clive Deverall’s suicide on 11 March 2017 was “a devastating final paragraph in a remarkable life story”. At age 75, Clive Deverall, took his own life after suffering for two decades from a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Deverall’s final violent act on the day of the WA election was done in a public place and he left a note, which ended: “Suicide is legal, euthanasia is not.”

“The last three years, but particularly the last 18 months, he would have described as a living hell..It was just pain, medication, one thing piled on another…There was no cure for it. And there was no hope.” Noreen Fynn, wife of the late Clive Deverall, told the ABC. “I would have liked Clive to have had the choice. Here is a man who gave his absolute all… I think he deserved to have a better death. He should have been able to have us with him.” she said.


As head of the Cancer Council of WA for more than two decades and a former President of ­Palliative Care WA, Clive Deverell was on first-name terms with many of the state’s senior doctors and politicians. He had worked tirelessly to set up palliative care services in the state. “Clive’s life was so much more than his death, but with his death he made a statement” Noreen Fynn told the ABC.

Noreen Fynn is speaking out now to express her support for the assisted dying legislation to be introduced in both the NSW and Victorian parliaments this week. She was present in the public gallery when the WA Parliament recently set the stage for a renewed debate on assisted dying.

Click for ABC News report 19 September 2017 ”With his death he made a statement’: Clive Deverall’s widow speaks out on euthanasia

Noreen Fynn, told the ABC in March 2017 that Clive’s death was “no accident. It was a message…If there had been voluntary euthanasia legislation, Clive would still be here,…He would have known that he had the ability at a later date to pick up a drink of some sort [to end his life]. He wouldn’t have needed to do what he did. He went far too early, and to me that was a real tragedy.” she said. Read ABC News article ‘Cancer pioneer Clive Deverall’s death puts spotlight on voluntary euthanasia laws’ 22 March 2017

Clive Deverall gave his Last public talk at the ‘Freedom of Choice WA’ Launch on 5 February 2017 (7.41 mins)