“A Completed Life” by Dr Rodney Syme

We are delighted to have published, in both paperback and e-pub formats, A Completed Life, by Dr Rodney Syme. It is available for purchase from our online shop.

And with our thanks to Tom Valenta, author of Remember me, Mrs V? Caring for my wife: her Alzheimer’s and others’ stories., here is a review of Rodney’s book.

A Completed Life was published posthumously some two years after Dr Rodney Syme, the author, died. It is a potent and compelling read that advocates with logic and profound medical insights for humane and pragmatic end-of-life options. Published by Dying with Dignity Victoria, the book is a poignant and enduring final testament to its author.

Rodney’s decades-long commitment to the cause was widely publicised and documented in his previous books. He died in 2021, only months after his wife, Meg died from Alzheimer’s disease. His many years of experience in dealing with the dementia issue that culminated in him being Meg’s carer, along with his two daughters and son, are detailed in the chapter, Dementia: The whole catastrophe.

Chapters have been contributed by other writers including medical professionals and advocates who have lost loved ones in troubled circumstances. These add to the overall story of voluntary assisted dying for the aged and terminally ill. My story forms one chapter – my wife Marie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease aged 54 and died aged 61. I sought and received Rodney’s assistance when, in her final days, Marie was clearly distressed, in pain and in a vegetative state. His guidance and professional advice resulted in a peaceful, pain-free death. An article I wrote that was published in a UK magazine shortly after her death in 2009 is re-published in the chapter with my deepest gratitude.

A Completed Life makes for compelling reading. Rodney writes beautifully and advocates with both compassion and logic.

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