My name is Jay Franklin. I am very passionate about potentially running as a candidate in our upcoming Victorian State Election as I was born in 1976 with a chronic bowel disease.
Due to my illness I had to leave school at the start of year 12, never able to return.
Since that time I had a range of odd jobs, until I came across a position as a Senior Warehouse Assistant. This was at the age of about 17 years. I quickly was promoted to Warehouse Manager.
My health was manageable for most of this time, although I was often hospitalized for surgery for bowel obstructions.
I ‘celebrated’ my 21st birthday with a hospital admission for several months for major surgery for a complete bowel obstruction.
Somehow I recovered and returned to work. Later I ventured overseas for an extended break, travelling for 3 months.
Since 2001 I have coached little athletics & have been an active member of the Board Of Management at The Coburg Athletics Centre. As Competition Director, I was charged with ensuring the running of meets, as well as dealing with complaints from both parents & children. My Medical Background:
I was born in 1976 with Hirschsprung’s Diseaase, a chronic bowel condition. I have had all of my large intestine and the majority of my small intestine removed over the years. I have undergone over 100 operations throughout my life.
Today, I suffer from very severe chronic pain on a daily basis due to abdominal adhesions or complete / incomplete bowel obstructions. Since 2007 this chronic pain has increased severely which greatly affects my day to day life.
I required regular surgery for bowel obstructions, to try to clear out my abdominal adhesions. The latest round of surgery lasted only 18 hours before I was rushed back to theatre for a further 6 hours due to complications.
On any day, I am on heavy medication to help my chronic pain. This has limited success.
I’ve been told on multiple occasions by the medical profession that there is nothing surgically they can offer me.
In this regard I cannot be a candidate for an intestinal transplant.
All the doctors now say they can do is to try and manage my pain the best they can at home. However, because my situation is not classed as ‘terminal’, I am barred from receiving palliative care which would include IV pain relief in the home.
Last August I was accepted by Dignitas in Switzerland for an assisted suicide. However, I don’t feel that I should have to travel to the other side of the world to end my life. I want this to be possible in my own home, at my time of choosing.
Plus my health is getting worse and worse and travel would be very difficult for me.
However, it doesn’t look like VE laws will be changed in Australia in the near future despite many attempts to do so.
When it comes to end of life choices, we should have the right to end our suffering and go out on our own terms.
This is why I will stand for the VEP Vic in November. Despite my illness, I am taking this stand, not just for me but for all Australians’ who are suffering from a terminal illness and for those who are in uncontrollable pain and experiencing as much suffering as I am.