The West

Moving farewell to euthanasia champion
Barbara Harrison. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Perth woman and euthanasia campaigner Barbara Harrison has been remembered at a moving funeral service as a caring and thoughtful woman and a loving mother devoted to her two sons.

Ms Harrison's sons and dozens of mourners paid tribute to the 63-year-old, who took her life two weeks ago after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

At the Hale School chapel on Saturday, family and friends celebrated the life of a woman who loved travel, nature, horse riding and, above all else, her two boys.

Ms Harrison's sons spoke of their deep love for the mother who they remembered as a caring and courageous woman.

The Rev. Richard Pengelley paid tribute to Ms Harrison as a dedicated mother "who left us in some ways before her time".

"I remember her warmth, her smile, her courage, her generosity and her deep, deep love for her boys," he said. "Life often wasn't very easy for Barbara and she was a brave and special woman."

Ms Harrison, who bravely shared her plight with _The West Australian _in the hope it would reinvigorate the euthanasia debate, revealed in her final interview she had arranged much of her own funeral.

The congregation paused to remember Ms Harrison during a slide show, featuring photos of her life. Led by the Hale School choir, mourners sang along to one of Ms Harrison's favourite hymns, As The Deer Pants For The Water.

Envelopes were available for anyone who wanted to donate to the MS Society of WA.

_The West Australian _ published details of Ms Harrison's plight in November when she made an impassioned plea to WA politicians to legalise euthanasia and allow people like her to die with dignity.

Having lived with MS for more than three decades, Ms Harrison wanted to die because her condition had deteriorated.

She was in nearly constant pain and could not pursue her hobbies.

In an email to friends and family she explained why she opted to end her life and asked for their understanding.

An online poll at revealed three quarters of the 891 respondents believed euthanasia should be legalised.

The West Australian

Latest News From The West

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West