Death isn't something we as a society tend to spend too much time thinking about.

For many, the idea of thinking, much less talking about, our own impending death is something that we avoid at all possible costs. It's put in that "another day" pile.

But over recent months the issue of voluntary euthanasia has hit the headlines - sparked by Lecretia Seales' legal challenge which led some politicians to push for a new law to allow doctors to help end the life of certain patients, and Parliament's Health Committee inquiry.

Yesterday, public submissions closed.

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While it is now up to the committee to consider and report back on, there is one thing each and every one of us can do now.

As horrible a topic as it is to contemplate, if nothing else is achieved it should at least spark conversations in households around the Bay and the rest of the country - conversations between loved ones about what steps they'd want taken if they were in a situation where someone had to make life and death decisions on their behalf.

While Ms Seales was in the position to be able to discuss all her wishes, for others that chance is taken away in a split second leaving loved ones to make the difficult calls.

Regardless of the outcome of the voluntary euthanasia debate, people should at least take this as an opportunity to have those conversations around the medical intervention and treatment decisions they would want if they weren't in a position to make the choice themselves.

As someone who has been forced to make those calls I can assure you it's a tough enough decision to make knowing full well what a loved one wanted.

I'd hate to think how much harder it would be without that.