Once joined in matrimony, Adele and Victor Stevens now share a garden fence on a quiet suburban street in the Woden Valley. The ageing neighbours have had their share of arguments since meeting in high school, marrying and separating, but they’re both certain of one thing. They want to control the circumstances in which they die, and avoid prolonged pain and suffering. Adele, an experienced nurse who built a career caring for elderly patients, still remembers her father struggling with dementia in hospital. She remembers him pulling tubes from his body and forgetting where he was, only be reminded repeatedly by those around him. “I want the ability to end my own life once it has become intolerable,” she said. “But we’re having enough trouble legalising gay marriage in this country so god help us with euthanasia, especially when the federal government can override our laws,” she said.