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Need to shed some light on a tricky issue? Get tips from experts and while you’re there add your own expertise to the subjects we love to tackle on the One Show.

Should assisted suicide be legalised?

Share your views and experiences.

 

One Show guest John Humphrys has written that: "My father's last years cast a shadow over what had been a good life and those of us who knew and loved him feel a mixture of resentment and guilt to this day."

 

His father's final years convinced John to become a supporter of assisted suicide: providing the means, eg medicine, to allow a patient to end their own life.


Those in favour of euthanasia argue that a civilised society should allow people to die in dignity and without pain, and should allow others to help them do so if they cannot manage it on their own.


But there are many who argue against the legalisation of euthanasia. Many, for example, believe it could become a 'slippery slope'. Lord Walton, Chairman, House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics, has said:


"We concluded that it was virtually impossible to ensure that all acts of euthanasia were truly voluntary and that any liberalisation of the law in the United Kingdom could not be abused.


"We were also concerned that vulnerable people - the elderly, lonely, sick or distressed - would feel pressure, whether real or imagined, to request early death."


Euthanasia has been 'decriminalised' in a number of European countries, namely The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.


Should assisted suicide be legal in the UK? Share your views and experiences.

Comments

  • 1. At 7:26pm on 02 Apr 2009, mumofkids wrote:

    I agree with assisted suicide having watched my mum suffer over a period of 3 years in my teens she eventually died in immense pain and with none of the dignity she had in life. If we have a pet in insufferable pain we put it out of its pain why dont humans have the same rights

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  • 2. At 7:27pm on 02 Apr 2009, army_camilla wrote:

    I think the points John and Sarah are making are very valid. I'm a medical student and I believe in the sanctity of life, however, we always go on about saying the patient has a choice, the patient's autonomy, if they can decide how they live they should be allowed to decide how they die - I do defiantely believe there needs to be strict guidelines and laws as patient's trusts can be misused, but people have a right to decide on their future when they have the capcity and compentency to do so.

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  • 3. At 7:27pm on 02 Apr 2009, chelsealouise91 wrote:

    Me and my mum think that it should be legalized.
    How can it be fair that animals can get it but human beings can't.
    We have a choice about how to live our lives, can't we chose how we want to die?
    You shouldn't have to live your life in pain, you should be given the option to stop it.

    From Chelsea, Sevenoaks, Kent.

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  • 4. At 7:29pm on 02 Apr 2009, Brodiesmum2304 wrote:

    I think that John and Sarah are quite right to be raising the awareness of this issue.
    I had to put my 15.5year old beloved dog to sleep because he had cancer and was in pain. It broke my heart to do so, but I was relieved that he was no longer suffering.
    Life is tough, but death should not be. For me there is no argument here...if we put our animals to sleep so stop their suffering, then we should do the same for our families.

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  • 5. At 7:29pm on 02 Apr 2009, MyaCNGRyder wrote:

    It's about time we allowed our elderly and sick to decide for themselves if they feel it's time to end their/our own lives.
    I'd hate to have my life prolonged if I knew I were going to die in pain anyway.
    About time the government arrived in the 21st Century.

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  • 6. At 7:29pm on 02 Apr 2009, suzytess wrote:

    I am 52 and have suffered from severe depression since the age of 15. I lost my parents when i was 17 and my life has been blighted by this.....I have felt for years that I do not want to carry on living but am always dismissed by doctors who say it's the depression; but even when I'm supposedly well I still feel the same; life holds no pleasure for me, its just something to be got through....why can't i be helped to die without having to make bodged suicide attempts that could leave me disabled and so make life efven worse??

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  • 7. At 7:32pm on 02 Apr 2009, curlywilkes73 wrote:

    I wholeheartedly agree with John and want to read his book. My father passed away last week from MND and his could have been a horrible death had the illness gotten hold of him any further. However he died with his dignity intact and at home. In certain circumstances I think elective euthanasia should be available to the UK.

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  • 8. At 7:32pm on 02 Apr 2009, brummykate wrote:

    I agree that assisted suicide should be legalised in the UK. From working as a Nurse with patients with different types of malignancies, I see the suffering people go through on a day to day basis. I find it difficult to comprehend that people can consent to treatment to help them survive but when the treatment doesn't work, they cannot then say enough is enough and then suffer the pain of dying in a place which is not home and with strangers.

    I understand that Doctors are under an oath of preserving life, but surely you should have the right to say if you want to die.

    There are so many ethical issues around this and it will never be black and white, however, I believe that people should atleast have the option to do what they want.

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  • 9. At 7:33pm on 02 Apr 2009, StephenGT4 wrote:

    Of course it should be legalised. Suicide was illegal in England up to 1961, when the law was changed. Prior to this, it caused untold distress to surviving relatives that their recently departed loved one was branded a criminal.

    Similarly, assisted suicides carried out of true love, leaves the survivor with the stigma, and potential prosecution of murder - unacceptable.

    Each case should be decided on its merit, and adjudicated in a court of law prior to the assistance being offered.

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  • 10. At 7:33pm on 02 Apr 2009, GrannyEsme wrote:

    I recently lost my husband to cancer. His last months, weeks, days and hours were a nightmare for him, myself and our two children. We had to watch him slowly die, getting weaker and weaker, losing his dignity and getting more frightened of leaving us all. My childfren had to see their father become a person he never was, witness his fraility in many ways and although we could all show our love for each other, he never wanted it to be like that for them or for himself. Many times he told me he just wished he could go to sleep and it would be over, he didn't want our son to have to support him to the toilet, he stopped coming downstairs to join us - missed Christmas entirely - as he couldn't bear the thought our son having to carry him back up the stairs as he was too weak. We all agreed that he should stay at home to die and we were so lucky that the district nurses, the local hospice and our most amazing GP supported us and helped us to do this for him, but it should never have come to him being a shadow of who he was, we had lost him weeks before he died. If I could have assisted him to die a week or a month before he went then I would have, I would have done anything for him to not have suffered and gone through all that he did and we went through it too - my children will never forget it and they shouldn't have to remember their dad like that. We didn't do it to our dog, we shouldn't have to do it to our much loved husband and father.

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  • 11. At 7:33pm on 02 Apr 2009, gallgon wrote:

    People who thinks that palliative care is the answer for everyone are either mad or sadists. I know of people who either have, or are planning to take their life while they are still physically able, depriving them of time they could have spent with their families had another method been available. It is high time this country stopped trying to control everyones lives and let people control them, themselves.

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  • 12. At 7:33pm on 02 Apr 2009, EY_Chris wrote:

    In this material world the one thing everyone truly owns is their life. People should be able to end their life without worrying that people who help them are put under the extra pressure of risking prosecution. There should be carefully crafted safeguards too. I can't imagine the current government facing up to a real issue like this though.

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  • 13. At 7:34pm on 02 Apr 2009, Helen Horton wrote:

    If I could be confident that the standard of palliative care in this country could guarantee me a death without pain or without the fear of pain then I would say that legalising assisted suicide would be unnecessary. Unfortunately we have an appalling standard of end of life care and I would certainly opt for assisted suicide if I were facing a terminal illness. We wouldn't treat an animal the way we treat our old and terminally sick so why should thinking, feeling human beings be made to suffer when they would prefer to choose to end their life in the way they want to rather than in a way dictated to them by someone else.

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  • 14. At 7:34pm on 02 Apr 2009, elizabeth82 wrote:

    I think that assisted suicide should be legalised, we give dog's and cat's the right to die with dignity yet we are tolled that we have to prolong the life's of are loved one's. How can that be fair the are beloved pets are given the grace and dignity to die were there bloved owner's are not.

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  • 15. At 7:34pm on 02 Apr 2009, helesie wrote:

    I do agree with euthanasia, having been a nurse in my earlier years I have seen too many people (old and young) suffer when they should have been helped to end their life with some degree of dignity when there was obviously nothing that could be done to preserve their life.
    10 years ago I developed Cancer, and survived (so far) if it returns and should the prognosis be bad, then I would certainly want an end to my suffering, and that of my relatives having to watch me die and feeling that they had to help keep me alive.

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  • 16. At 7:34pm on 02 Apr 2009, ruairidhhusband wrote:

    Having had to watch 3 of my family die in the last few 5 years, I cannot agree with the Doctor on the program extolling the virtues of our palliative care system. My experiences were:

    1. Hospice - the idea that you can die free of pain was shockingly demonstrated to be true here. Listening to someone you love in pain in their last hours is agonising, it haunts me 5 years later.

    2. Hospital - again, pain management was horrific. Staff were scared to administer sufficient dosage of pain relief as it would hasten death, which was inevitable. 3 days of suffering ensued, with patient in agony and grief exacerbated for those left by the suffering of the last few days.

    3. Hospital Intensive care - professional and exemplary, I guess one out three isn't bad.

    In both 1 & 2 their was no hope of recovery, yet the urge to preserver every hour of lif

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  • 17. At 7:35pm on 02 Apr 2009, SimonJWheatley wrote:

    I had a very similar experience to John's. As a result, my sister and I agreed that we would help each other (first to go obviously) to avoid that same situation.
    Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a lawyer who can give us (under UK law) any real help.
    Given that time is passing, I am beginning to think quite heavily about utilising a diffierent jurisdiction, which of course has its own challenges.
    We need to address this situation in this country. There is now a material proportion of people who want, for themselves or their relatives, a dignified - but absolutely voluntary - death.
    We owe it to these people who have brought us up not to fail them in their final wishes.

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  • 18. At 7:35pm on 02 Apr 2009, Denise57 wrote:

    I agree totally. As consenting adults who are living longer thanks to advances in all sorts of things we need to reserve the right to say enough is enough. Medical intervention is fine if you want it but you need to be able to say no, and probably make that decision well in advance.

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  • 19. At 7:36pm on 02 Apr 2009, Cath46 wrote:

    I agree with assisted suicide after watching my mum suffer with her worst fear - dementia - for years. Years of confusion, anxiety and distress finally led to a total lack of dignity as she couldn't feed herself or go to the toilet. Even when she contacted pneumonia after breathing in some vomit she suffered a further week in hospital, semi conscious and hating the oxygen mask that she had to wear to keep her alive. All the family knew that she didn't want to end up that way, so in addition to having to watch her suffer, we endured the additional torture of guilt that we'd allowed it to happen to her. Torture for mum, torture for her family, and a massive drain on the NHS/social services. There has to be a better way.

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  • 20. At 7:38pm on 02 Apr 2009, residualconfounder wrote:

    There is a Radio 4 programme at 8pm tonight, about the experience offered by Dignitas in Switzerland.

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  • 21. At 7:38pm on 02 Apr 2009, bravephilistine wrote:

    Not everyone in this world wishes to continue with their life when faced with a serious terminal illness or when everthing is failing them i.e when as John discribed they feel desparately unhappy having lost the one they love or indeed in old age when they are dependant on others for their everyday needs so in those circumatnces they should be able to make a choice in the way described on your show -

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  • 22. At 7:39pm on 02 Apr 2009, ladyhazy wrote:

    My mum when well and healthy always said she didnt want to become a burden and to have her put down when she did !! Sadly as life goes she became ill and had no quality of life, however at that stage if someone had asked her if she wanted to end her life she would have said no, through fear , she wasn't the woman she had been for the majority of her life, but that would have been her choice although I personaly prayed that she would die peacefully, but she didnt ........she suffered badly for the last few months of her life and was depressed and lay in bed in hospital with nothing to stimulate her at all. Surely it would be better .when there really is no hope to be "put to sleep"but that also would need to be decided by the individual when in their "right" minds , not by relatives or doctors .

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  • 23. At 7:41pm on 02 Apr 2009, snobleaps wrote:

    Everyone should have the right to make their own decisions, having watched a number of close relatives and friends die slow painful deaths.
    My mum stopped living when my dad died feeling she had no purpose in life, she was one of the lucky ones because she only survived a few weeks alone, but if it had come to it I would have helped her to end her life with dignity - which is the most important thing we should all remember.

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  • 24. At 7:42pm on 02 Apr 2009, microtjay wrote:

    i completely agree with assisted suicide, watching my grandad die a very ungraceful and extremely pain full death from cancer and having the nurse accuse us of trying to bump him off because his pain was so great he was using the self administrating morphine to much, i wish we could have helped him i don't want other people to suffer the same. If it was a dog they would put them down.

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  • 25. At 7:42pm on 02 Apr 2009, worldpeace2009 wrote:

    I agree with John Humphreys.
    Both my parents died in less than acceptable conditions of care.
    My mother in particular suffered for many years before her demise.First cancer wards, then mental illness wards then poor retirement home care.
    We treat pets with more consideration.
    Their deaths don't leave the traumas that human deaths seem to.

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  • 26. At 7:43pm on 02 Apr 2009, debeeee wrote:

    It does appear that the consensus here is in favour of John Humphrys' view and I too would agree. Christine's comment to Dr Sarah was so naive, although I guess it had to asked (?). Of course a doctor has a duty to save a life and to preserve life, but not at ALL costs... in some cases it is simply not the best thing to do for anyone. In a civilised society it is surely time we allowed people to leave us when they would chose to. There can be nothing worse than forcing someone to endure a living hell...?

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  • 27. At 7:43pm on 02 Apr 2009, fantasticnewtothis wrote:

    After watching the drama documentary with Julie waters a few months ago I thought that going to Switzerland was a viable option and a brave decision to take. However, being a Christian I am now rethinking my decision. Christ did not die with any dignity. He in fact died in the most horrendous, humiliating way, but he put himself into the hands of his Father and suffered the consequences. I am not saying that this would be my decision to suffer, but it is not as straightforward as I thought it was.

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  • 28. At 7:44pm on 02 Apr 2009, snowcairngorm wrote:

    I agree totally with John and Sarah. Everyone should have the right to end their life if they choose. I certainly do not want to be a burden on my family or to have a long lingering death. People are living longer and the expense on the NHS is phenominal. Quality of life is what matters.

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  • 29. At 7:44pm on 02 Apr 2009, junglejim47 wrote:

    There are three situations:
    1/Quality of life already poor and certain to deteriorate.Self suicide not possible. Regulated suicide assistance appropriate.

    2/Quality of life poor and certain to deteriorate.Self suicide possible. No assistance

    3/ Quality of life poor but may improve. The person should be encouraged to delay suicide as long as possible. Assistance is murder.

    Age is perhaps the most important factor.

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  • 30. At 7:45pm on 02 Apr 2009, Chauffeurman wrote:

    Good Evening Team,

    I followed tonights programme with interest, especially with the marvellous John Humphries.

    I do agree with what has been said on the show tonight. Let's face it, if you had a pet that is terribly ill, you take it to the vets and the vet does what he feels is best for the suffering animal and that is to put it asleep.

    What is the difference for a human being who is suffering, try to keep them alive, rubbish!!

    I love the Show and all it's guests, well done and please keep it going!!

    Chauffeurman
    Of Somerset

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  • 31. At 7:45pm on 02 Apr 2009, ennkay wrote:

    I'm 61 have heart problems and dread getting older and God forbid bed ridden. If it were to happen I would like it if I could have someone put me out of my misery!

    The story john humphries told was horrendous - to watch someone you love suffer is far worse than losing them particularly if they're suffering
    ill health, depression etc.

    A lot of people lose the will to live once their partner has passed on, ESP if they themselves are ill, they should be allowed to end theirblufe with dignity!

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  • 32. At 7:48pm on 02 Apr 2009, heltraq wrote:

    I feel very strongly about this issue,I recently lost my best friend to breast cancer and though she personally fought against it with every fibre of her being for ten years I completely understand why someone would choose to end their life with dignity while it was still possible for them to do so.Both of my grandmothers suffered from forms of dementia and watching people you love effectively "cease to be" has to be one of the cruellest things its possible to imagine.My mother is afit ,intelligent and active 64 year old and as such she has already decided that should she develop any form of dementia she doesnt want to be kept alive indefinately.Why should she be made to suffer the pain and indignity she was forced to watch her own mother endure,she nursed my gran for many years and it broke her heart every time she had to inflict indignities in the name of care upon her .My other gran is in a nursing home and has been ressucitated too many times ,I cant even see who she used to be any more I truly beleive we should be allowed the right to decide for ourselves how we end our lives.Families are just as guilty of refusing to let go of a loved one as they are of wishing them gone,probably more so

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  • 33. At 7:48pm on 02 Apr 2009, sensiblelance wrote:

    I do not agree with assisted suicide. The 52 yr old who posted on this blog that he/she wants help to die may meet someone next week who changes his or her life and gives them every reason to live.
    Who hasn't felt they don't want to live at some point in their life? But you go on and then your life gets better and you thank God you did not do anything to end your life.
    I accept some people may be terminally ill. Whilst maybe they should not be kept alive indefinitely on life support machines etc the idea of going to the doctor to get a prescription to kill ourselves is awful.
    Paliative care in UK is excellent according the one shows doctor so surely this is something to be celebrated.
    As a country we should be thinking about support for people and their families in their final days giving them reasons to enjoy living rather than ending their lives.

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  • 34. At 7:50pm on 02 Apr 2009, kimtim24 wrote:

    I can only agree John & Sarah. My Mum worked in a elderly ward for several years and was often upset by the fact that an elderly patient would 'die' only to have the 'crash team' rush down and save their life, a life which was a semi-conscious state in a hospital bed.

    To see someone die whilst suffering from an awful condition like cancer seems completely illogical. I totally agree and it really is about time something was introduced to help.

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  • 35. At 7:50pm on 02 Apr 2009, akaViv wrote:

    In this country if you allow an animal to suffer and don't euthanise it you will be totally condemned by every animal rights society (and most normal human beings)here is. But we don't allow this to happen with humans.

    Does this mean that the British attitude is that an animal's life is worth more than a human's?

    I for one would not want to be kept alive with no quality of life.

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  • 36. At 7:53pm on 02 Apr 2009, keith13 wrote:

    I am the surviving partner of a man who had PSP. (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy). Apart from being difficult to remember, it is an incurable and untreatable brain disease. It eventually destroys the part of the brain which controls swallowing and among many other things he would starve to death. To avoid the final indignities he elected to travel to Switzerland and die there with the help of the people at Dignitas.

    It was difficult to organize. The Swiss authorities are rigorous in their demands - despite what you may have read or heard about. It took us six months to get everything in place.

    It was the hardest thing any of us have had to face. His physical condition had deteriorated and we had to fly there (his daughters came too). But with grace and dignity he went through with it.

    I am left to miss him and grieve for him, but at least I know that he never had to face the terrible and inevitable suffering he would have had to go through.

    So, however hard the decision may be, of course I believe that this could and should have been available in this country. He could have been here surrounded by familiar things, friends and family. The strain on all of us would have been that much less.

    There is no reason why all the safeguards which must be there could not be put in place in Britain. I think we are all wise enough.

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  • 37. At 7:54pm on 02 Apr 2009, digbyjones14 wrote:

    My husband is slowly dying of terminal cancer of the postrate and bones - to see him slowly going downhill week after week is heart breaking for me and his children - he has been in hospital for the last month and before that was in a hospice late January for 3 weeks - he has no hope for getting any better as his bones are slowly crumbling and is now incontient and no control of his bowels - how degrading for a very private man

    Pat
    Wales

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  • 38. At 7:54pm on 02 Apr 2009, ancientmumsie wrote:

    No absolutely not. God gave us life & he will take it away.
    However I do believe that we have the right to refuse to be resuscitated after say a heartattack and a living will would be the way to go,

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  • 39. At 7:55pm on 02 Apr 2009, theonetooshow wrote:

    Now aged 69 yrs I have been actively advocating since I was in my late teens that a person should have the right to choose that they should have the right to die if they become a terrible burdon to the ones they love and to themselves. It is not right for their loved one to be fearfull of any legal consequences for the help they may give. I tell everyone that I am going to Switzerland, the problem is that I do not know if I shall be able to afford it or worse still, may not be able to recognise the need for me to go.
    Everyone knows that there will be an inballance between the old and the young very soon and that many of us old ones will be severely ill or mentally unable to take our own decisions to move on. Its time the government stopped pussyfooting about over this issue. We do'nt allow our animals to suffer when they become too old or ill and in pain to continue in this world. It's time to change the law

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  • 40. At 7:56pm on 02 Apr 2009, belovedhappydays wrote:

    I absolutely think that assisted suicide should be legalised. I do not know how anyone who has seen someone else suffer in illness can think otherwise, whether this has been a family member or through work ie. doctors with their patients or perhaps staff working in nursing homes and seeing the absolute lack of quality of life sick people have.
    I could not go into the medical professions as I do not think it is at all kind to prolong suffering by keeping someone alive when they clearly have no life. I would not be able to justify this abhorrent extension of an otherwise "dead" life.
    I have seen my nan suffer for 14 years before she finally died. I have also seen my stepdad being a prisoner in his own body and after many years of ill health he spent the final year of life being immobile, peg fed, unable to talk or do anything for himself except to lie in bed staring at a ceiling.
    I have drawn up a very detailed advanced directive to ensure no one prolongs my life if I lack capacity to say otherwise. I would advise anyone else who wishes to die with some dignity to do the same. I also would most certainly want to go to the Dignitas clinic if I had the ability to get there and I had any disabling condition that meant I could not fully care for myself. To put it bluntly I do not want anyone to toilet me, wash me etc etc. Hopefully by the time I would need assisted suicide it will be legal here in Britain.
    I do wish the government would get sensible about this matter and give people the choice of assisted suicide. If a person has the capacity to make informed choice or has an advance directive stating the circumstances under which they would opt for assisted suicide then I do not see what the problem is.
    One argument against is that it would be open to abuse ie. relatives wanting to bump people off for their estate etc. However there are lots of areas of life which open people to abuse and the government does not eradicate all those, so what is the argument for this. Assisted suicide could be protected in law by either the person having capacity to state their wishes or an advance directive written when they did have capacity.
    We are supposed to be living in a civilised world, are we not?

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  • 41. At 7:56pm on 02 Apr 2009, returninglifeofbrian wrote:

    This is a slightly different angle on the subject. I was an Emergency Medical Technician for an NHS Ambulance service on frontline ambulances. I had on neumerous occasions been called to a cardiac arrest or suspected sudden death one of the patient. I was called to was a 78 year old lady with TERMINAL cancer who had suffered a cardiac arrest we as a crew had to resuscitate her and convey to hospital because it was protocol ( If having terminal cancer was not bad enough someone calls 999 for us to turn up bring them back so that they can have another go at dying). it is bad and it is very wrong, another call was to a bupa care home looking after dementia patients where a 89 year old lady had collapsed and was being given CPR on our arrival I personally would have been quite happy to have let nature take its course but the first responding officer who also happened to be the county commander instructed us to resus and convey the patient to hospital. I asked of several occasions why we are doing this when the patients medical history would suggest they should be left and was told I can not make that decission or I would be playing God with their lives. My reply to this is "isn't shocking a patient back to life inserting an ET tube and pumping cardiac drugs into a patient in order to bring them back Not playing GOD"? After all surly enough when the top guy says its your turn who are we to take over his plan for that individual? otherwise our time will never come. most times the patient even those we do bring back will either die again within a few days those who don't have mental problems like dementia due to loss of oxygen to the brain during the cardiac arrest and most if not all who survive for however long never have the same quality of life they once knew. I am not being callous saying this I have full respect for the relatives but there comes a time when enough is enough it is better for the patient and the relatives even though at the time it may not feel it.

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  • 42. At 7:57pm on 02 Apr 2009, LewPaper wrote:

    It was so refreshing to hear someone of Michael Buerk's eminence saying what I've always thought.

    Coincidentally this is the position in which I now find myself.

    For reasons I won't bore you with and knowing it's a cliche, I really don't have anything or anyone to live for and at my age I could live for another 20 years - 20 days seems too much. There's no relief on the horizon, only more of the same, so I'm all in favour of this new, fresh, adult and sensible way of thinking.

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  • 43. At 8:03pm on 02 Apr 2009, biggertie wrote:

    I totally agree with everyones comments, we should be entitled to the choice of how we wish to die. How can other people make that choice for you. I respect those people who do not agree with it, but at the end of the day, it is your body, surely, you are entitled to die with dignity and not in pain. My dog was allowed to die with dignity and yet we have this outcry about euthanasia. I looked after my father who was terminally ill with cancer, and I would not wish that on anybody. It is horrendous to see someone suffer in pain and not to let them go when they want to. Why is it that people have to to go to Switzerland, whilst they are still fit to do so, and shorten what life they potentially have left, so that they know they can travel. Whereas, if they had the choice to do it here, even in their own homes, they would potentially, have longer to live, until they felt the time was right for them. Surely, by people going to Switzerland, they are making a decision to dye prematurely, before they wish to. Its time the government, looked at peoples right to have a choice when and how they wish to die. I know what my decision would be now, I'd be going straight to Switzerland, no hesitation.

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  • 44. At 8:06pm on 02 Apr 2009, concernedother wrote:

    I wholeheartedly agree with John and Sarah and how passionately they spoke about assisted suicide. Working as a nurse, in rehabilitation medicine, I have had experiences of nursing people with degenerative diseases. I have also, particularly in the last 18 months, nursed patients that have survived multiple cardiac arrests. To see what this does to both the patients and their families is heartbreaking.
    I am also training to be a counsellor and found it so refreshing that the subject of death and dying had been broached within a peak-time show!
    People should have a choice and be trusted to make that choice without the pressure of having to leave the country, worry of the consequences for those that have helped.

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  • 45. At 8:06pm on 02 Apr 2009, Jaycee wrote:

    I definitely agree with assisted suicide. My situation is probably common to many others - I am a 64 year old, no family at all, cannot drive, very little money - I'm afraid NOW of dying in a few (quite a few I hope!) years in pain, and not having a say in how I die or even if I want to live.
    Also, by prosecuting the families of anyone who goes abroad to die, therefore making that person go to die sooner so that relatives do not
    fall foul of the law, isn't the "state", in effect, killing that person (or causing him to die before he wants to)?

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  • 46. At 8:10pm on 02 Apr 2009, Tammiethree wrote:

    My father died of bowel cancer in a hospice-where he was wonderfully cared for. Having sorted all his affairs out he asked me, as a nurse, to "give him something" as he didn't want us all to see him slowly deteriorate any more. I felt utterly useless & so angry that a wonderful father & role model who had led such an active & useful life should have to suffer any longer. There was no way out for him though & he lingered for a few more days which was senseless as there was no cure for him.
    The month following my fathers' death my dog becaame very ill & I made the decision to end her life as she was suffering so much. I could do this for my dog, BUT NOT MY LOVELY DAD! She passed away in seconds thus ending her suffering.
    This country is going to be full of very sick & dying people who the powers that be have the audacity to prevent passing with dignity.
    When are the government going to pull their finger out to provide more funding for the hospices in this country-they should not have to rely on fund raising to provide the marvellous care they do for the people at the end stage of their lives. Could this be another topic for your show?

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  • 47. At 8:13pm on 02 Apr 2009, startrekka wrote:

    I could not agree more with John and Sarah's views about a person's right to choose assisted suicide. What I find absolutely outrageous about the present system for arranging an assisted death outside the UK is that the close relative who gets involved is actually punished three times over: they have the pain of watching their loved one struck down with a dreadful illness or disease, if that was not bad enough, they then both suffer the indignity of having to leave the country, everyone who was close, everything that was comforting and familiar and finally the distraught relative has to return in fear of prosecution for manslaughter. It is grotesque, barbaric and hypocritical. When are we going to change the law about this?

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  • 48. At 8:13pm on 02 Apr 2009, Les_blogs wrote:

    I have just been listening to John Humphreys views on assisted suicide on your show and agree with his sentiments entirely. My poor brother in law had a debilitating stroke last July. He lost his sight, is paralysed and incontinent. Since his stroke he has never been out of bed and after a few months in hospital is now being taken care of in a nursing home. There is no hope of improvement and all his distraught family can do is watch him waste away and suffer from depression and discomfort.As a former farm manager, he would not have allowed his animals to exist in this way. Having written to all political parties, I can't believe how, as a society, we can be so inhumane!!

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  • 49. At 8:13pm on 02 Apr 2009, cavaliersam wrote:

    Five years ago my husband was diagnosed with a mixed dementia, he recieved counselling with the NHS and decided to sign an Advanced Directive. By January this year he had declided very rapidly indeed and was unable to comunicate, walk and had to be reminded to swallow, in fact he could do absolutely nothing. He was in an excellent nursing home and well cared for. When he developed pneumonia the terms of the Directive prevented any treatment and he slipped peacefully away five days later. Advanced directives are legally binding they may not suit all purposes but for my husband it saved great suffering. His care during thoses last days was excellent.

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  • 50. At 8:14pm on 02 Apr 2009, spectaculareviesh wrote:

    I fully support John. My Father deteriorated gradually with Parkinsons Disease but still had all his mental faculties. A year before he eventually died he arrested in A and E at this point he was completely dependent for all personal care.I was with him and pleaded with staff to allow him to die with dignity. Staff said the could not do that they had to resusitate him. As you can imagine this was an extreemely distressing experience but I knew my Fathers wishes. After the event my Father legally agreed with witnesses to not be resusitated and to not be taken to hospital again.
    Then followed 8 months off distress watching someone you love deteriorate to the point of not being able to move anything! The BUPA care home looked after him with the dignity he deserved but as other people have mentioned we treat animals better than people,

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  • 51. At 8:22pm on 02 Apr 2009, Ossenfesser wrote:

    I really feel we need to be offering this now as a society. I used to be a committed Christian but I guess I would now call myself an atheist. I used to feel that the length of our lives was for God to decide on but it doesn't seem to me that way now. We should be able to choose our own way out if life has become unbearable because of terminal illness. My own parents died of cancer and my mother was an advocate of euthanasia. On reflection, I wish she'd had the choice; it would have lessened her suffering towards the same outcome. I'd like to be able to choose if I needed to although I strongly believe we need strict guidelines.

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  • 52. At 8:29pm on 02 Apr 2009, Vikkimcook wrote:

    I agree wholeheartedly that assisted suicide should be made legal. My family and I had to watch helplessly as both my Grandmother and my Aunt suffered lingering and harrowing deaths. The palliative care they received was of the highest standard, but no amount of care can compensate for forcing a person to die slowly, painfully and without dignity.

    I'm so pleased that John Humphries is drawing attention to the subject of euthanasia - I just hope that this and other recent media attention will lead to a full debate & some action - I'd like to think that when my time comes I'll have the choice to die a decent death.

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  • 53. At 8:34pm on 02 Apr 2009, missheavenlyangel wrote:

    Finally! Thank you to providing a forum to highlight the need for this government to listen to the people who have posted on here. I work with older people in care homes who are waiting to die, some want to die instead of lying there with no dignity and for some, no respect. The Human Rights act could give people the choice to decide when to die if pain and suffering is the only alternative. If Switzerland can do it, then why can't our civil society do the same. I'm sure the Swiss have protection factors for those who would misuse the system - let's seriously have the debate with the outcome of choice for everyone.

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  • 54. At 8:39pm on 02 Apr 2009, Johnswife wrote:

    my husband is in the later stages of M.N.D until three years ago he was fit and active,he is now struggling to breathe, hardly able to move,and wishing he had gone to Dignatas while he still could ,To have an assisted death at home is the one thing that would give him give him peace of mind. as he now feels his life is no longer worth living.
    Pat Worthing. Sussex

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  • 55. At 8:55pm on 02 Apr 2009, nemesistwo wrote:

    If people are making an informed descision to end their life if suffering from a terminal illness,how much kinder to be able to die in your own home with dignity.Although my father received excellent nursing care and died at home,he was distressed at what he felt was losing his dignity and if he had had the choice to end his suffering earlier then would have done so.
    I fully support a change in the law to allow assisted death at home.

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  • 56. At 8:58pm on 02 Apr 2009, My_lifeline wrote:

    "The one thing that truly belongs to each and every one of us is our life"

    Surely this is a statement with which few would disagree - at any rate, those who fall into the 'unbelieving' sector.

    I am in my middle sixties and fit and well, have cared for, at home, my early-onset Alzheimer suffering husband for 13 years now, and feel that I have gained some insight into life in the slow, dependent, undignified lane.

    I defy anyone to know better than I do when life has become intolerable for me. I must be the decider.

    Of course there may be some abuse of the system. For this reason the controls have to be rigorous and well-implemented. The law will never be perfect - but which is?

    I live in huge hope that, should I desire death, I will not have to leave my beloved country to achieve it.

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  • 57. At 9:00pm on 02 Apr 2009, amazonia20 wrote:

    I thoroughly agree with John Humphrys. I think we should have a choice. My Mum died screaming with lung cancer. We wouldn't let an animal suffer...

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  • 58. At 9:05pm on 02 Apr 2009, geniusjaneth wrote:

    My Mother in law had been in a nursing home for 5 months. She was 93 senile and deaf. she had been a very intelligent lady and fit for most of her life.She fell out of bed on a couple of occasions,hurt her face and found eating painful. She was looked after well but lost the will to live. We were called by the Sister to say that her time was short . My husband and his sister went straight to the home to find that the doctor had been called and he wanted to send her to hospital. they said they wanted her left were she was which was hard for them as they did not know if they would been seen as not caring. She died soon after with her family my husband at her side, instead of in an ambulance rushing her to hospital. We don't blame the doctor but surely in these situations life has to come to it's end in the best way . not being resuscitated in an ambulance or in a strange hospital bed.

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  • 59. At 9:13pm on 02 Apr 2009, normalmadman wrote:

    I think if animals are given peace, us humans should be allowed the same. I do
    voluntary work in an Oxfam shop, and it seems prehistoric to me that people every -
    where are not allowed to say if they want to
    die. The points that the old reporter who had watched as his father tried to drink himself to death, and the converted doctor, made on tonights one show were right ! i,e,
    the unneccissary bad and slightly paranoid if you ask me, argument that there might be abuse of a legal euthanasia service for those in dier need of it, here in stoneaged Great Britain ! just pales into insignificance in my minds eye, compared to the need to allow those poor old and terminally ill folk,
    here in britain - the right to have the final say, why the hell should it be someone else ! what gives them the right !!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 60. At 9:24pm on 02 Apr 2009, Anne-Maria wrote:

    Your guest said the "little old lady" who has no money and no one to turn to and is desperatly lonely is a candidate for assisted suicide.

    Perhaps the "little old lady" would be better helped by providing companionship, enough money to survive and had access to a suitable social network.

    It would appear that once your usefulness is spent and no one cares that you are there then just end it to save everyone any bother??

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  • 61. At 9:36pm on 02 Apr 2009, lpilova wrote:

    The assisted dying bill was chucked out by the House of Lords in 2006.

    The 26 Bishops block voted it out against a public poll of 82% for the bill, yes no mistake 82%.

    How about it if some of these Bishops were invited by the BBC to the "One Show" studio to explain their vote to an equal amount of people that do not share their view in all in front of the viewers.

    Inspite of their shrinking church attendence now only 6% attend each week and they still think they represent the Brits and had the gall to throw this importent bill out against a major stream of public opinion.

    Fair enough if they can't agree to assisted dying for religious reasons they don't have to do it; let the rest of us make our own adult decisions. I have no wish to tell the Bishops what they should do and I like them am not elected to do so either.

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  • 62. At 10:04pm on 02 Apr 2009, youngalan13 wrote:

    Whist a whole lot of the 'pro' assisted suicide comments merit sympathy I can't get away from the thought that we, as humans, cannot be trusted! What I mean is that we begin by agreeing that cases like those described deserve support and change legislation to support the 'worst' case. 30 years from now anything goes.
    Please look at the intent of the abortion act when it was passed in 1967. It was indeed meant to protect the 'worst' case. Today it now a free for all. As i said, we cannot be trusted.

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  • 63. At 10:08pm on 02 Apr 2009, maison48 wrote:

    As John R Ling says: "Once the concept of a worthless life has been established, then so too has euthanasia. Every innocent human being, however deprived and debilitated, should be allowed to enjoy the basic entitlement of not being intentionally killed. To make this entitlement dependant upon the enjoyment of a particular quality of life is to abandon justice in the care of patients for arbitrariness and convenience." The Edge of Life, page 166.

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  • 64. At 10:15pm on 02 Apr 2009, tinyhazi wrote:

    I watched the programme tonight and felt that finally someone voiced my thoughts. Why should people not have the right to choose when they die, especially when they have a terminal illness. I watched my darling husband die from renal failure and cancer and for a long time afterwards I felt my life was over too. Its hard to carry on alone and for some of us that burden is too much, and what are we told when we voice those concerns? you dont have the right to do anything about it. Huh, if I had carried on feeling that bad then no matter what was said I would have chosen to end my life, however I changed my mind and though I live a very busy life and have a large wonderful family, in many ways its an empty life without the one I love by my side. So regardless of what others think, if one day I decide I have had enough then I will do what I choose. So if its selfish, so be it, its my life and I should have control. If the law was to change and legalise assisted dying I know it would not help my situation at the moment, but who knows what the future holds for any of us, just think about watching the one you love, in pain, knowing things wont get any better, then say you really dont belive the law should change.

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  • 65. At 10:15pm on 02 Apr 2009, petal44 wrote:

    Many years ago I watched my dad die in a great deal of pain, more recently I watched my mum die in a great deal of pain even with morphine, I myself have been diagnosed with an illness for which there is no cure and I decided long before this that I believed in euthanasia and I hope I will be able to make it to another country on my own when the time is right as I certainly don't want the guilt and worry of my family being punished for MY CHOICE, having made this decision it will mean leaving my family a lot earlier than maybe I would need to, so that I can arrange this and travel on my own and die on my own.

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  • 66. At 10:20pm on 02 Apr 2009, gillyanne1 wrote:

    I agree with John Humphries I have a personal experience. My Mum died just age 70 from a stroke, my Dad took his own life 10/11 months after (he as a very healthy person) and the way I have dealt with this is that he is where he wants to be. He put on a brave front was a very proud man but became a broken man and he basically missed my Mum so much. It was not easy for my brother and I but I have no doubt that if he had continued the way he was he would eventally become extremely mentally ill and he wouldnt have been my Dad. This is not an easy thing to talk about but after watching the show tonight it made things even clearer for me.

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  • 67. At 10:22pm on 02 Apr 2009, suziesu123 wrote:

    I agree with John, after watching a parent suffer from years of mental ill health and Vascular dementia, surely their quaillty of life is very poor. So when faced with a suddend life threatening illness I was told that my mother would recieve sugery as soon as possible in an attempt to save her life. An hour later a more senior Dr came to see me and asked the question that was the hardest I have had to make in my life 'how would my mother truely feel, and did I feel that a surgial procedure that may not save her was the right thing to put her through? Although I know I have lost one of my most dearest, she was confused and upset by the onset of the dementia and lived a life of hell which she very often asked me to end. I feel very greatful to the Dr who saw outside the 'box'. I miss her dearly but not who she had become but the person she used too be!
    I do though agree with the governments cautious view that we must protect those most Vulnerable in our society.

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  • 68. At 10:26pm on 02 Apr 2009, governorsparadise wrote:

    According to my birth certificate, I am 60 - but I don't believe it - apart from a few aches & pains, I feel like I'm still in my 40's! I have no intention of dying in the near future - too many things to do, places to explore.

    I have no fear of dying. I quite look forward to it - a new adventure.
    What I dread is HOW I die. My greatest fears are having dementia or ending up in a home, surrounded by other women, being treated like a child by staff who call me by my first name and think I'm interested in TV soaps ... Nor am I too keen on the idea of dying in pain!

    My mother died in 1964 - the treatment for cancer in those days involved removing the spinal cord. As a result, not only was she in pain, but she was unable to leave her bed, unable to speak clearly and suffered epileptic fits.
    In 1995, my mother-in-law died in hospital, in agony. She got gangrene, they removed her leg, they ignored a letter she had written asking to be left in peace (she had already had several heart attacks).
    In 2002, my aunt died in a nursing home. She had dementia. I couldn't bear to visit her for the last year - the person who died was not my aunt.

    "Palliative care" may have improved over the years - but "one size does not fit all". For myself - and, I believe, many others - the care that is provided would be a Living Hell.

    Better that we decide for ourselves how and when to die. And if this nanny-state government will not allow us access to something that will give us a painless death - my choice will be to drive my car over a cliff or into a wall. Which means that I shall end my days prematurely. Hey Ho! And it won't be very nice for those who have to deal with the pieces.

    It is interesting that most of the comments on this site include the word "DIGNITY". A very important word. It is a shame that the politicians don't understand its meaning, probably because it has nothing to do with money.

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  • 69. At 10:33pm on 02 Apr 2009, Jaycee wrote:

    I very much agree with Ipilova - how can a vote by the public of 82% for the assisted dying bill be voted out by Bishops who do NOT represent all of that 82% (or 100%!)? They don't treat people with any respect. No wonder church attendance is decreasing.

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  • 70. At 10:45pm on 02 Apr 2009, elvislymine wrote:

    How wonderful to hear such sense from John Humphreys. Everybody should have a right to end their life if that is what they want to do. We live our lives the way we want, so why can't we end it when we want to? Where are the rights of the individual to deal with their body as they see fit? I think that when a person is really at the end of their tether, for whatever reason, grief, ill health or just come to the end of it all, there should be somewhere legal that they can go to, where they themselves administer the dose that will end their suffering. I would be first in the queue.

    Yes, without a doubt euthanasia SHOULD be legalised. The manner of death should NOT be left in the hands of doctors who take the Hypocratic oath to keep people alive, however ill that person may be, and are generally very much against euthanasia; it is not the doctors themselves who have to suffer, but the people to whom they have denied a painfree and dignified death. Why do they think they have the right to play God?

    In this day and age where so many decisions are taken out of our hands, those that wish to end their lives by their own hand should be allowed to do so. Personal choice should be paramount.

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  • 71. At 10:59pm on 02 Apr 2009, mindanniepanny wrote:

    There is another aspect to the 'slippery slope' problem: my mother is 90 and lives alone very well in a nice flat in Guildford. She had been badly advised about Inheritance Tax (like no advice at all) until I stepped in a number of months ago. She now has invested money into a non-taxable scheme, raised from the value of her flat created under an equity release scheme. But this doesn't come into force unless she lives for two years to the day after signing the contract. Far from being concerned that I will 'bump her off' to get at her money, she could be more worried that I'll keep her alive in order to avoid paying the 40% tax bill on her estate. May I add at this point that she has a Living Will and we both know what to do at the end, so her fears are groundless, but I think the point needs to be made that if voluntary euthanasia is made lawful it won't necessarily follow that old people will be at risk of being removed ~ it might be quite the contrary.

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  • 72. At 11:00pm on 02 Apr 2009, LorriCrawf wrote:

    I feel it should be legalised because in life we have the 'right' to do whatever we wish to our bodies be it poison it with tobacco, drugs, alcohol - whatever! Then if we dare consider ending our life, someone can legally come along and tell us no, you're not doing that to yourself - how can this be? I have known deep sadness and isolation in my life though I never wanted to end it and could never imagine wanting to unless perhaps through illness, but if I ever did I feel it would be my right because it's my body, my life - no one else's!

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  • 73. At 00:06am on 03 Apr 2009, Frenchjohnrhys wrote:

    I agree with assisted suicide. I recently cared for a neighbour who suffered from cancer. There came a time when everyone knew there was no hope yet he was still given treatment which just prolonged his agony. Sadly before he died a painful death he lost all his dignity. There is no way we would allow animals to suffer in this way, so why do we treat humans as such. There must come a time when we are given the choice to end the pain and suffering and die with dignity

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  • 74. At 01:26am on 03 Apr 2009, pamsicle wrote:

    i agree with the concensus as it appears, to support Euthanasia. i have a different concern on this issue though. my son is severely autistic, non verbal and lacks understanding of many things, particularly medical procedures which are supposed to help him. my greatest fear is that he develops a terminal, or extremely painful long term condition needing medication. i know that he would not be able to understand or tolerate any of the procedures unless anaethatised. if the prognosis was dire i would like to think that his life could be ended painlessly. it would need to be an injection and again under anaethsia. Ethical issues here i know, but why should my son who does not have the mental capacity to understand what is going on, be denied a painless death, because he cannot say 'i want to end my suffering' . people i think forget the people in situations like my son. Would you want your child/adult son daughter to suffer? The onus would be on the parents, carers and the law as it stands would not allow us to ask for this on their behalf. i really do worry about this especially if 'im' not around to see that his ultimate care interests are catered for.

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  • 75. At 09:23am on 03 Apr 2009, msjanetann wrote:

    I agree that Assisted Suicide should be legalised in the UK.
    I am 62 years old and my greatest fear is to end up in a Nursing Home. I would like the oportunity to decide my ending.

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  • 76. At 10:32am on 03 Apr 2009, gailandgrant wrote:

    Gail, Tavistock, Devon
    My husband died in January of cancer of the pancreas. This is a very swift and exceedingly painful form of cancer and my experience of the treatment for patients with this form of cancer was not ideal. When my husband was admitted to hospital it was exceedingly hard to obtain pain relief quickly resulting in him screeming with pain and me having to throw a hissy fit to get something done. When my husband was first diagnosed we knew that the prognosis was bleak and did discuss assisted suicide. I firmly believe that if the legal position had been clarified my husband could have been spared the horrific last few days of his life. We had a Golden Retriever who died of cancer of the liver, she was in a great deal of pain and the vet spoke to my husband and I and we agreed that it was not humain to keep her suffering. The cancer in the later stages of my husbands illness spread to his liver, our dog had a more dignified death than my husband, this cannot be right.

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  • 77. At 10:53am on 03 Apr 2009, lionseaman1 wrote:

    I think that the subject is looked at from the wrong point of view. I think that we should be discussing assisted living. Modern medicine has allowed doctors to prolong life almost indefinately, and many times the courts have to order that machines are switched off in order that the person is allowed to die.
    Surely a person should be able to choose not to be assisted to continue living. If they are unable to feed themselves etc. then if they wish paliative care should be given so that they can discontinue eating and drinking without distress until they die in peace.
    The Roman church regard the interference with conception by mechanical mean sinful. Shouldn't logic then insist that the interference with the process of death by mechanical means also be sinful to them.
    I am an athiest and so really have no respect for the churches. When I am no longer capable of looking after myself I have no wish to continue living and only hope that I will be able to terminate my life in comfort and dignity. There is no way that I wish to have someone feeding me or wiping my bottom. I would consider that a doctor rescusitating me would be an assault.
    We treat our pets with far more respect and in fact the RSPCA will prosecute someone who subjects a pet to unneccessary suffering.

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  • 78. At 11:40am on 03 Apr 2009, Rondevlei wrote:

    Having watched my mum endure her last few years of 'life' I am a passionate believer is assisted suicide. I am furious that 8% of the population are able to monopolise this issue and 92% have to battle against their personal religious views. When compared with the issue of abortion where the new life has no say in the process whatsoever, I believe that the old and infirm have lost the right to die. I don't believe that sufficent safeguards can't be introduced to stop greedy children finishing off their elderly parents. Firstly a signed document with a video made without anyone else present in front of a judge/independant legal practitioner whilst the candidate is still in good health would be a starting point. This would show that the issue was in the candidate's mind as a principle. Then this documentation would be reaffirmed nearer the time before an independant legal person and a trained counsellor without any relatives present. Finally I believe a very important point is that no medical person should be forced to carry out this proceedure against their wishes or beliefs. A register of those willing to carry out this last act of kindness should be kept in every area so that they could be called on as required. With these safeguards in place the matter concerns no one but the candidate and the medical person assisting them. Why should anyone else interfere?

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  • 79. At 11:55am on 03 Apr 2009, Asric1 wrote:

    I think the main issue for me on this is about choice - about fully informed and weighed choice, with full understanding of taking responsibility for our choices and their consequences. I also think that this apples to all areas of living!
    For me, it is not about the length of my life, it is about the quality. I wish to lead a full and fulfilling life, no matter its length, and am very concerned that we now seem to have many who think "life at any price", no matter the cost, especially to the person who is suffering.
    Or is this maybe getting involved with the concept/belief of "salvation through suffering"?
    And this, I suggest, is where the problems really impact, the main one being, I think and feel, that so many of us are afraid of death and of "letting go", especially of those they love, rather than seeing that we all have the right to our lives and death with respect and diginity.
    As a society, and culure, I think we are in "death denial", not accepting (especially on an emotional level) that death is part of the life cycle and can happen when we least expect it. So if we are able to prepare for death, maybe that makes it "easier" in the end? To be able to accept and then have the wonderful opportunity to resolve old problems etc? I hesitate to think of the number of times I have heard people say "I wish ...". especially with not having told the one who died that they loved them.
    Death is an integral part of life and, I suggest, the way we die can often define our lives, so isn't it important to have a graceful and fulfilling death? A "happy" ending?
    Would I have dignity living with, for example: dementia; incontinence; horrendous pain; no quality of life; reliant on others to clean and feed me etc?
    I have done voluntary work in a hospice where the emphasis was very much about quality of life, no matter how "little" was left AND acceptance, often with joy, of death.
    And so I hope that those who love me would treat me with respect and dignity, allowing me my choice. Even though it may be distressing for them, I would hope they would put my interests and well-being first. Isn't that what real love is supposed to be about ?
    Andrew

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  • 80. At 11:59am on 03 Apr 2009, electronicEscapee wrote:

    My father had lung cancer and he survived for ten years after they removed his lung. However when his heart just could not cope any more the doctors tried forced breathing through an horrific mask. My father said he would not wear it and wanted no more treatment, the doctors just kept quiet and accepted the situation but some nurses were very difficult and made their views known to him and me. They said he should continue to fight and were very unhelpful. He was 74 and just worn out after a week he died peacefully with my mother and me with him. I will never forgive those staff who sought to impose their views and beliefs on him. He was of sound mind and made his own decision why can't the NHS just accept that and help!

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  • 81. At 11:59am on 03 Apr 2009, mairismith wrote:

    Having watched my wonderful full of life mother take about 8 years to die from a progressive disease which robbed her of all dignity as well as the ability to do anything but slightly move one finger, I am firmly in favour of allowing anyone with a diagnosis of a terminal disease to make the decision to die as they wish.
    As long as there is always a 'get out' clause which allows the person to retract if some medical miracle arrives.
    On the whole, we are allowed to live our lives as we want, so surely the same rights should apply to our death.
    I am so glad that John Humphreys has brought this back into the public eye and I hope that something positive can be done about a living Will.

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  • 82. At 12:09pm on 03 Apr 2009, niceoneeileen wrote:

    Reading the previous comments I must just say: Animals are not the same as human beings!! - (but that's a long story).
    The use of "Extraordinary means" to maintain life needs to be sensitively administered, most patients in hospital can decide to have DO NOT RESUSCITATE written in their notes. This is NOT assisted suicide!!
    Laws are there to protect the more vulnerable in society, giving the medical profession a "Licence To Kill" is entirely wrong.
    Do you know of anyone who has given themselves their lives? No, it's a gift to be protected, it doesn't last long.
    Learn more about the principles of Palliative Care. You will perhaps be edified, appreciate both people and life more and will understand even more why this is such a sensitive issue.

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  • 83. At 12:38pm on 03 Apr 2009, prettydaggers wrote:

    I had a tear in my eye reading granny esmes story. This happens to so many people and it,s heart breaking. I had to watch my brother go through the same thing. All he wanted to do was just not wake up. Each time he did he would say" am I still here." You feel so helpless and although you don,t want to see relatives die,there are some cases where you would give anything to help them do so. I know there are so many loopholes in alowing this thing to go ahead and sometimes I,m for it, and sometimes I,m not,so if me ,as an ordinary layman are not sure of what to do,think how difficult it must be for doctors etc. It is a senitive issue and I don,t know what the answer is.
    Helen. Carlisle

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  • 84. At 1:16pm on 03 Apr 2009, greyJumbug wrote:

    I think it should be legal definatally. I have seen people suffer the worst diseases with no quality of life whatsoever. Also the people who go abroad to commit suicide and worry about the family getting prosecuted. Why can't they just say they are going on holiday and then get it done so that nobody knows they are helping them.

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  • 85. At 1:47pm on 03 Apr 2009, msMadAsABoxAFrogs wrote:

    I nursed my mother when she was terminally ill with Cancer and a young baby at the same time; we never discussed the absolute certainty of her death or, whether she would choose to hasten this process.............however, there was no doubt that she suffered in the final weeks of her life and I would have done anything to relieve her of this burden had she agreed.

    Nineteen years later with my own mortality staring me in the face (and pulling awful faces!).....and constantly in pain with arthritis, there have been occasions when I have fervently wished to 'shuffle off my mortal coil!'

    Berated to the left of me, hassled to the right to 'lose weight' and we shall perform the necessary knee operation'.......I struggle to get through the days - some better than others.
    However, should my days become so unbearable.......there will be no one and nothing to prevent me from 'ending it'.......life is limited, horizons are diminishing and with pain as a constant companion, things can be very bleak.

    I am a proud person and the very idea of losing my dignity (the last refuge of a once-fiercely independant woman.........I was at Greenham!!!)...........appalls me. Beholden to another? Not on your life! Have someone feed/dress/etc., me.......never.

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  • 86. At 2:17pm on 03 Apr 2009, enviableHeather wrote:

    My mother had a stroke then was infected in hospital with Clostridium Difficile I watched as she slowly over 3 months wasted away.She was 62yrs old and had worked all her life when I saw her unable to eat drink speak or move I sat with her day after day found her lying in her faeces I begged the nurses to let her go peacefully as they would a dog !!I wanted to end it for her.They agreed with how I felt but said the law didn't allow it.Eventually I was given a choice let them insert a feeding block into her stomach to keep her alive but she would have absolutely no quality of life whatsover I said no and eventually she died & that was the only time she looked at peace.They do not have the staff to even care for these patients so yes we should all be able to decide for ourselves.I have made it clear that I never want to my children to go through that with me.

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  • 87. At 4:14pm on 03 Apr 2009, ETridesagain wrote:

    I don’t think assisted suicide should be legalized. There are already too many abuses of people ending other people's lives for them. In so many cases, people can’t stand pain and also their relatives don’t want to look after them. Human life is sacred. I am Jewish and I know what “euthanasia” really means: anybody who is not wanted – out. I can understand people who want this legalized, feeling the way they do, but there is help if money is spent on finding cures and improving palliative care. Babies are incontinent and sick and cannot communicate when they are suffering. They aren’t killed for that, they are loved and cared for. There are places that look after people with dementia very well and give them a quality of life. That is what should be being developed.

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  • 88. At 4:46pm on 03 Apr 2009, annablogger wrote:

    I always thought that the law was there to protect the most vulnerable, and therefore cannot agree with legalising assisted suicide.
    The dignity of a person does not change because they are not able to dress, wash themselves, etc ... A person has dignity precisely because they are a person who can love and be loved.
    I have a disabled brother who has as much dignity as me. One could even argue that he has a better quality of life than non-disabled people out there: he has no money worries; he is loved and cared for, and an integral part of the family.
    Legalising euthanasia would certainly a very dangerous slippery slope.
    More money should be invested into improving palliative care.

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  • 89. At 4:52pm on 03 Apr 2009, bubblingAna wrote:

    You are so right etridesagain! I agree that assisted suicide -aka euthanasia- just opens the door to abuse. the vulnerable NEED protection and care. If the sick are loved and cherished they will be able to bear their illness more readily, it is not a utopia, it is actually very enriching to care for the sick -within the family with the support that is necessary-. It is not advocated to prolong life unnecessarily, we all know we must die one day, it is a natural fact; but we are not the authors of life and therefore must tread with huge respect and CAUTION!
    I love the ONE SHOW- especially Adrian!!
    Ana

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  • 90. At 5:01pm on 03 Apr 2009, LondonJoBlogs wrote:

    Assisted suicide should not be legalised. Here are some notes on why I believe this.
    The cost of care to NHS or through private care is a factor – often unspoken but always there. It is easy to persuade ourselves that something is “right”, or even “a right”, when what we really mean if we are honest, is that it won’t cost so much money. This is especially true of the Government, for obvious reasons.
    Medical methods have developed so much that people can be, and are being, “kept alive” far beyond their natural life. This whole area needs to be debated properly, on ethical and moral grounds. But it has always been true that “hard cases make bad law”. The “slippery slope” is a phrase being used dismissively by many contributors here – but it is a reality.
    If assisted suicide were legalized as John Humphries and almost all the contributors to this blog want, then people suffering from different forms and levels of depression will be assisted to kill themselves, or just left to kill themselves, instead of being given the support and love and help that would help them realise their lives are really worth living.
    Many people are making the comparison between putting an animal out of its suffering and putting a family member out of his or her suffering. Human beings are not animals and no legislation puts humans and animals on the same level. Nor should it. Nor should we. Each human life is unique and sacred in a way that animals, however lovely and however much loved, are not.

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  • 91. At 5:25pm on 03 Apr 2009, SarahCrewe wrote:

    People keep saying that we have our pets' lives ended to prevent them from suffering. Plenty of people also have their pets' lives ended when they are a nuisance, or become too expensive, or they move somewhere where they can't take their pets. Is that really the way we want to go with our family members? Is that really the way we want to be treated ourselves?

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  • 92. At 5:28pm on 03 Apr 2009, illustrioustabbie wrote:

    I agree wholeheartedly with John Humphreys. Having been seriously ill myself recently and now, fortunately recovered, it has made me even more determined to ensure that I have a good death and not suffer the indignity and agony I witnessed in the medical and surgery wards in one of our NHS hospitals. (This is in no way a criticism of the NHS as it has limited resources and must use them where they will be most effective) I would not dream of letting an animal suffer in the way this country allows terminally ill people to suffer. The law must be changed in this country to allow all very sick people to be able to die where and when they choose. This is our right , and although very stringent guidelines must be followed, it cannot be correct that people have to have the resources to be able to travel abroad to die with dignity. Our legislators must take notice as I believe the majority of adults would want this.

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  • 93. At 6:56pm on 03 Apr 2009, mindanniepanny wrote:

    Lionseaman (No 77) wrote "If they are unable to feed themselves etc. then if they wish paliative care should be given so that they can discontinue eating and drinking without distress until they die in peace." Unnfortunately dying by starvation is not peaceful, there are stomach cramps, muscle pain, disorientation and often confusion and terror. This is the silly situation that we find oursleves in: we cannot make death easy and painless by law, but by law we can starve someone to death with all the above distress.

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  • 94. At 7:11pm on 03 Apr 2009, Henblog wrote:

    Yes - my wife and I entirely agree that Assisted Suicide is a right - it is the last choice we can make and would welcome its legal status.

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  • 95. At 7:36pm on 03 Apr 2009, Carltabot wrote:

    I have not been in a postion where this has been personal for me yet, however if the choice was for me to be hooked up to loads of machines, being fed through a tube, or having no quality of life, through intense pain, then I would want the option to end my life. Without the worry of consequences to my family or friends or the medical staff who were helping me.
    The sanctity of life is all well and good if you have a reasonable life to look forward too. I believe it should be the individuals right to choose, we do however live in a free world. allegedly.

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  • 96. At 7:47pm on 03 Apr 2009, singingbubblybabs wrote:

    I think that if I was diagnosed with an illness which would make me lose control of my normal bodily functions etc, I should be allowed to end my life with dignity. Whilst still in controll of my thoughts and deeds, I should be allowed to leave instructions for my demise with a responsible person who will carry out my wishes. If this was done legally and signatures witness, there should be no neen for the police to intervene.

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  • 97. At 9:06pm on 03 Apr 2009, amcbloggs wrote:

    Having read through the comments above, two things strike me:
    1. The comparison of human beings in comparison to animals is very disturbing - are we to think that there is no difference between me and dog? I want to be treated with much greater respect than that!
    2. Many of the comments refer to terminally ill people not wanting to be a burden on their families - I think that's very sad. What does it say of our society that just because someone is very unwell, they feel they are something too difficult to bear by those around them?
    I have an adult brother with Autism and this makes life incredibly stressful at times - but I wouldn't be without him for the world!!!
    We are not very good at sticking to our laws in this area - look at abortion. This is supposed to be for extreme medical reasons only but now it is available on demand because, despite all the millions of ££'s being spent on "education" the UK still has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe.
    We shouldn't legalise euthanasia or assisted suicide - they're a very slippery slope and we can't guarantee they won't be amended in the future to make killing of the sick and disabled an easier prospect.

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  • 98. At 10:20pm on 03 Apr 2009, goodNutcase wrote:

    I have suffered from severe depression for around 15 years with many spells in hospital, numerous anti depressants and ECT treatments. I feel I have the right to die and to be helped to achieve that. All the people who argue for assisted suicide say that people who are depressed should not be allowed that right and that depression is treatable. Surely if the treatment options have been fully explored and have not succeeded then we should have that right too. I say this after a recent spell in hospital, supposedly better and calmly. I don't want to be like this any more. C

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  • 99. At 10:58pm on 03 Apr 2009, Richard wrote:

    As a Christian, I firmly belive that life is sacrosanct and that we should be grateful for the life that we have, however, God is compassionate and I can't believe that he would want anyone to suffer unecessarily when he has provided us with a means to prevent the suffering from being prolonged.
    As someone who has suffered long periods of severe depression I can understand why some might want to end their lives but I have also been helped to get through my bleakest times and am glad to be alive. I am so glad that I failed to commit suicide despite coming very very close to going through with my plans, several times.
    I believe that everyone has something to be grateful for and we should concentrate on this but when it comes to long term and extreme suffering we should be allowed to prevent the sufferer from being subjected to more pain than they are able to bear. Providing there are proper and careful checks to avoid people from being coerced into voluntary euthanasia we should allow those for whom the future is only unbearable pain, until death releases them, to die with dignity and in their own time.
    I can understand the need for extreme care and for very careful consideration to be given to avoid unecessary deaths but we must be able to come up with a system whereby people who are qualified to make such decisions can be empowered to decide whether someone should be allowed to end their life in their own time or be prevented from being kept alive when they have clearly and legally expressed a desire not to be resuscitated.
    Having watched my mother die slowly after contracting Motor Neurone Disease, I would like others to be allowed the opportunity to avoid the indignity of the final stages of this wicked disease and others like it.
    I pray that we are allowed to come to a sensible and careful conclusion that allows people to die with dignity.

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  • 100. At 11:04am on 04 Apr 2009, Ivanjacovich wrote:

    If only there was an easy answer to this one! I have worked as a Chaplain in a Hospice, and I can think of two particular instances that highlight both sides of the argument. In one case, a lady had been struggling for nearly two weeks, was unconscious nearly all the time, and only pretty pain-free because of skills of doctors. Her son was angry that she was being 'kept alive' as she had repeatedly stated her wish to die when she was conscious. I could not answer his challenge. In my heart, I could not see any point in keeping her going.
    Another man, on a different occasion, also terminally ill, had one or two really difficult days, in a lot of discomfort. He told everyone he wanted to die, to please put him out of his misery, and it was heart-breaking. However, a couple of days later, I was laughing and joking with him, and he was pleased to be still with us!
    The difficult questions are then, at what point do we listen and respond to such cries? How can we be sure that this is a consistent point of view? In any way you dress it up, 'assisted suicide' is still euthanasia.
    I talked to the hospice doctors and they (and I believe, the hospice movement as a whole) are totally opposed to changes in the law. And I am inclined to agree with them. The experience of the people involved in the abortion industry shows what a flood of death follows an acceptance that it is legal for one human being to take the life of another. We cannot make the elderly, or terminally ill, another vulnerable group, subject to the vagaries of human nature.
    Much as it is painful, we must leave the law alone.
    What is certain is that we do tend to keep people alive when we should have let them die peacefully and naturally, and for those decisions we need to rely on the wisdom and experience of doctors and nursing staff. We cannot legislate for individual situations. That would be the route of folly.

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  • 101. At 1:03pm on 04 Apr 2009, oldsmileyuk wrote:

    May I suggest that only those over seventy-five are allowed to vote on this one. I suspect that nearly 100% would be in favour of allowing assisted suicide. I am seventy seven and very anxious to be allowed to control my own life and death.

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  • 102. At 2:15pm on 04 Apr 2009, hobbitses wrote:

    I have been in favour of euthenasia for many years. Most recently I watched my dear father as he lay on a bed for several days in a side ward with, I believe, a morphine drip until he died. I kissed his cheek and said my goodbyes. He moved his head slightly as if a fly had landed on him and died three days later. Our cat was put to sleep whilst we gently spoke to her and stroked her. She was luckier.

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  • 103. At 2:46pm on 04 Apr 2009, Rich_JB wrote:

    We live in a country that condones abbortions which amounts to killing an innocent life but we don't allow euthenasia - How can that be fair?

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  • 104. At 2:52pm on 04 Apr 2009, miguelbernardo wrote:

    I too am from Cardiff and followed both John and his late brother Bobs careers and are of an age when this choice could become actual. It was refreshing to hear someone represent those many ordinary folk who would like to choose and to have control of the final act in their lives.
    I have heard the opinions of the fundamentalists, both religious and medical against assisted suicide, when and if the conditions dictate, but so often the wishes of the individual is ignored or lost in dogma. It’s time that the issue was revisited and I hope that John’s book will open that debate.

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  • 105. At 11:18am on 05 Apr 2009, sistermargaret wrote:

    I completely agree with John Humphrys. The NHS has advocated for patient choice but few people have a choice in this matter. I have always believed that we all should have the right to choose, as far as possible, where, when and how we die. I do not deny there are many selfless, dedicated carers whose aim is to provide a high stadard of care at life's end. But I feel quality of life is a very important, personal consideration. Managed properly and legally, assisted suicide could create a culture or caring reassurance for many individuals, fearful or the endurances of poor quality of life, pain and the indignities associated with having loss of control of their body and their life. What better gift can we give to those who wish to accept it.

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  • 106. At 1:09pm on 05 Apr 2009, mindMooreg wrote:

    My mother always asked all five of her children to "put her down" if she became mentally unwell or disabled. Two years ago she had a stroke and now is both mentally and physically disabled. We can do nothing as she is in a care home, just watch her cry and say, in her lucid moments, "want to go home to my mum"- her way of saying she wants to die. It is heartbreaking to see and I wish I had the courage to put a pillow over her poor head and release her from agony. We treat animals better than humans- shame on us. I am determined to take my own life before I get into that state. I'll settle for three score years and ten and then go, on a bright sunny day. (I'm 60 now.)

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  • 107. At 1:28pm on 07 Apr 2009, vincentia wrote:

    My mother died with bowel cancer praying every night that God would let her die.
    If anyone feels you shouldn't help with dying, then neither should you help with keeping alive.
    If it's right to leave it to God to choose when you die, then he can surely decide if you should live.

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  • 108. At 2:15pm on 07 Apr 2009, adrianchristine1 wrote:

    Why can't people be allowed to ask for drugs to terminate their life regardless of their state of health. Even if someone is healthy, if they don't want to live, shouldn't they be allowed to take something to terminate their life without the risk of it being botched.

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  • 109. At 9:05pm on 07 Apr 2009, geordieangel2 wrote:

    Post 108, if that person is perfectly healthy, why don't they do it themselves, some people do, there's plenty of stuff in an average medicine cupboard to do the trick.

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  • 110. At 9:36pm on 07 Apr 2009, adrianchristine1 wrote:

    re 109 - yes, but often it gets botched or has to be done in undignified ways. People should have the right to choose a dignified and certain death regardless of their state of health.

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  • 111. At 7:26pm on 09 Apr 2009, Pritt_Stix wrote:

    I feel everyone should have the right to die, the same as they have the right to live. Forcing people to accept paliative care, when they wish to die - should breach their human rights (but doesn't for some reason).

    Human beings appear to force life on other human beings, when if it were an animal it would be put down. This looks like we care more about animals than humans, or perhaps we're more selfish when it comes to our loved ones wanting to die.

    You get the arguement "quality of life", when in a lot of cases it's not "quality", but "quantity" of life, and so people are forced to suffer for as long as possible. It seems to me that the people against euthanasia feel it's more humain for the terminally ill to live and suffer, rather than die and be in peace. It's quite hypocritical.

    I think it's wonderful that we are the world leader in paliative care, but it isn't for everyone and surely it's better to die in dignity than in pain and humilation.

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  • 112. At 7:26pm on 09 Apr 2009, KatieRoseZ wrote:

    Murder is wrong because, usually, the person who has been killed wants to live. To kill someone who wants to live is wrong. However, to not to kill someone who wants to die is also wrong.
    Your life is your life, and if you wish to die, it should be your every right.

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  • 113. At 7:29pm on 09 Apr 2009, Mowbeee wrote:

    Yes - it should be possible for British people to have their own Dignitas clinics.

    I'm angry at the anti voluntary euthanasia article just shown. A perfectly active and happy long-term MS sufferer was shown as if pro VE people would want him o die. Of course we wouldn't!

    Pro VE are looking for an easy way out for those who have had enough. I fear for my own demise in case it's awful - how many others are feeling the same.

    We hear so much about palliative care - there will never be enough to go round and those who miss the boat must have the option of an easy escape.

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  • 114. At 7:29pm on 09 Apr 2009, loudslayer wrote:

    Yes i agree with assisted suicide i am terminal and it would be so nice to decide when my time is up i would like to be helped to pass i think everybody should have a choice .Animals dont suffer so why should we

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  • 115. At 7:30pm on 09 Apr 2009, lucy_p1234 wrote:

    My Gran has been very very ill recently and when i saw the one show talking about legalising suicide i think some elderly people like my Gran might move towards it when they're going through a bad patch, but at te end of the day she's getting slightly more lively each day and i cherish every single day that she's still with us

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  • 116. At 7:31pm on 09 Apr 2009, TomNightingale wrote:

    Tonight (9th April) you presented a piece about suicide. The people you spoke to had not committed suicide (honest!); some were people with serious illnesses who preferred to live. Good, if it is their choice. The others (e.g. Christine Odone, CO) had reasons to oppose it. It would be difficult to interview those who had committed suicide, but they are the only ones with stories worth telling. People like CO cannot discuss this topic rationally, religion dictates to them. My life is mine. If I decide to end it I do not want laws to stop me. I want my choice, just as the people mentioned above had choice.

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  • 117. At 7:31pm on 09 Apr 2009, briansgal wrote:

    While I sympathise with tonight's contributors, they all wanted to stay alive, the point is that some of us want to die when we've had 'enough' and still have the wherewithal. I'd like to save my sons the sight of watching me suffer, like I had to watch my mum suffer, that is all.

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  • 118. At 7:31pm on 09 Apr 2009, An_opinion wrote:

    It is not a matter if suicide is right or wrong, assisted or not. It is a question of an idividuals right to choose their own destiny. Is that not a human right?

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  • 119. At 7:32pm on 09 Apr 2009, NoogWheeler wrote:

    I am 30 odd years of age and have suffered with Crohns disease most of my life, I think if there is enough help in the darkest of hours nobody would what to die...we would all like to go in in our sleep, the problem is is that help, from personnal point-of-view its not, if I had the guts to now do it myself I would...If I was told the I am now is how I will be for the res of my life and theres an opt out I would.

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  • 120. At 7:32pm on 09 Apr 2009, nyankosan wrote:

    i'm so glad so many people on here feel the way they do. i recently sent a letter to Gordon brown and david cameron stating my stance on this issue as i was getting fed up with always hearing the same thing, about how it is immoral.
    On tonights show i saw a man who suffers from the same disease as my mother (multiple sclerosis) and said that he had had it for 30 years and still had a lot of passion for life. good for him, however my mother has had it for less time than that and now she cannot even speak. it annoys me when people are lucky enough to have the care they need and the support, some dont! some are living in situations where they sit in a room 24hrs a day with no company and to me that is not what i would call living. it is high time the goverment took the time to look at those who are actually suffering and not at those who get the care! has anyone else notice that that is all they telivise? just those that are alreadying being helped?

    Joanna, Huntingdon

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  • 121. At 7:34pm on 09 Apr 2009, keveritt wrote:

    I witnessed my mother-in-law die in agony of cancer and my grandmother constantly asks to be allowed to die; she's 92. I think people should have a choice about how they "go" and if that involves prescribed medication then so be it.

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  • 122. At 7:36pm on 09 Apr 2009, icklec wrote:

    I completely understand each side of the discussion pro and anti - but my personal experience has made me pro. My father suffered from MS for 16 years and finally passed away in 2004. During the 16 years he progressively got worse and worse and for the last 4 years he was blind, fed through a tube, and totally disabled. The only movement he made was in the uncontrollable spasams his body was controlled by. As an educated man he was trapped in his body and was unable to express pain or happiness in anything more than slight eye movements. He signed a DNR - do not resusitate - the UK's only way of taking control of your own demise. I truly believe that if he was able to communicate through speech he would have told us that he wished to die - but he couldn't.
    Dying should be with dignity and in peace - a criminal decides in his actions to be locked away, but it is not a choice to be locked away in your own body. Only YOU should decide when enough is enough!

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  • 123. At 7:36pm on 09 Apr 2009, angiecp wrote:

    I absolutely agree with assisted suicide. My husband passed away in January of this year after a four year battle with cancer caused by asbestos. Although he spent his final days in a hospice it was anything but dignified and peaceful. I will not go into detail but he spent the last six months of his life not able to do anything but sit in a chair. He however, did not agree with this concept. Had he done so, I was prepared to go to Switzerland to help him but I respected his wishes. However, when he got to the point where he had enough it was far to late for me to be able to help him in any way so we went through the undignifed process. I felt like I was on a conveyor belt going through the system.

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  • 124. At 7:37pm on 09 Apr 2009, NoogWheeler wrote:

    I agree they dont research people who are suffering with no help.

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  • 125. At 7:39pm on 09 Apr 2009, normalmadman wrote:

    Non of the anti - assisted suicide speakers
    on tonights ' the one show ' show, were in
    anyway suffering. I think THIS is the decid -
    ing factor, and nothing else.
    Dignitas in Switzerland so -
    unds to me like ' dignity ! ' , which is also s -
    omething which having the final say over o -
    nes fate allows for, so I personally thing the
    religeous children should stop and think for
    a minete, then they might realise that every
    word that they train themselves to rememb-
    ering out of the bible or the coran, has been
    both invented and written by a normal man.
    i,e, I do things to keep o-
    thers happy ! but 500 years after they die -
    d ? when every word is a vacant theory ?
    When they're's REAL suff -
    ering happerning ? ( crazy )

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  • 126. At 7:40pm on 09 Apr 2009, TomNightingale wrote:

    Further, I find it absurd that religious people should be granted "special" status/rights on such issues. Let them be religious if they wish that. But religion is a private club for those who choose to be members. They should not try to impose their wishes on others. This may seem a little off topic; it isn't this is just one of the many places where religious bigots butt in where they are dangerous.

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  • 127. At 7:40pm on 09 Apr 2009, cheerychrstine wrote:

    assisted suicide should be legalized in this country i saw my dad suffer from a very young age for 14 years with M.S. and waste away to nothing he couldnt even speak to us in the end we had to lip read why should any body have to suffer like that if they dont want to its their choice we can have animals put to sleep why should humans be any different if they choose to end it

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  • 128. At 7:40pm on 09 Apr 2009, JohnatTaunton wrote:

    The point of view given on today’s show misses the whole point. Those of us who support euthanasia are not suggesting that everyone who has a terminal illness should be killed. We want the choice. If pain is not controllable or if the quality of life is none existent then we should have the right to determine our own future.

    I ask one question. If you had a dog who was dyeing from an incurable illness, would you –
    A leave it to suffer until it finally died
    B Have it put down

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  • 129. At 7:44pm on 09 Apr 2009, darlingwildrosie wrote:

    I have found the two comparisons very interesting and believe that no one is advocating that people who are living quite happily with their illness should be offered euthanasia, but those which find their current quality of life intolerable should at least have this as an option. We are so concerned with human rights, but surely it would be my right to choose when to die if in pain and experiencing a quality of life that I could no longer tolerate. Yes our palliative care is second to none BUT not everyone has the option to end their days in a hospice and I for one would rather end my days in the comfort of my own home , preferably in the garden, than in a noisy hospital bed where it may not even be noticed that I have died.
    Of course people will say that the elderly will feel pressured into ending thier life but if 2 doctors have to talk to the patient and family members and if counselling is offered, then surely there should be enough professionals involved to ensure that the decision IS the persons wishes and not something they feel they have to do in order to not be a burden.
    And yes this is definately something that should not be offered to someone who is suffering from depression, as I have done, but unfortunately there again our health service lets down the patient, hospital is not the place to get well from this illness and there is just not enough provision, for long term counselling, care and support, in order for people to recover. It took me 9 years of private counselling to come to terms with my depression....try the NHS 6 weeks max!

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  • 130. At 7:50pm on 09 Apr 2009, afwill wrote:

    My life is mine; no-one has the right to take it or the right to force me to prolong it.
    I trust that, should I choose to end it, I will make that choice whilst I still have the physical ability to do it and will not need assistance.

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  • 131. At 7:51pm on 09 Apr 2009, darlingwildrosie wrote:

    Comment 129 came from Sarah, Bedford

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  • 132. At 7:52pm on 09 Apr 2009, lpilova wrote:

    How many more voices are needed; it's obvious that there is an over welling demand for an Oregon type assisted dying law for the Brits.

    It's not right that a small group whether they hold a religious belief, or any other type of superstitious belief should have power and be able to dictate any of our laws out of proportion to the number of their membership.

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  • 133. At 8:00pm on 09 Apr 2009, redmeesh777 wrote:

    My lovely sister died by suicide last year. She made the decision at a low point of her life and I feel she would at another moment, have changed her mind and lived.

    It is the the family left behind who have to carry the burden of suicide and face people who look at your family in a new way, like we are in some way to blame and we are no longer 'normal'.

    The family are the ones who suffer after a death by suicide . It is not an easy thing to tell people that your sister died by suicide at the age of 43. The pain and rejection is almost unbearable. People do not understand suicide at all.

    I now feel people are lucky if someone dies of natural causes!

    At least if you die from an illness your family are not left with the stigma and feelings of rejection. Suicide means to me that our family were not worth living for -my sister rejected life but also she rejected me -her sister- when she killed herself.

    Every day I wake up and think of how different things could have been. I miss her so much. I do not agree with suicide in any form as I know the painful legacy it leaves behind.

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  • 134. At 8:10pm on 09 Apr 2009, LondonYoungatheart wrote:

    I have long believed that if I had a delibitating illness that ruined my quality of life to the point where there was no reason to continue, I should have the right to chooss the time to end my life. The decision is not about the care available and incidentally I do not believe there are enough hospice places or that hospices are there or suitable for many conditions eg Motor Neurone Disease.

    The story covered a few months ago in a docudrama of the doctor whose husband died of brain disease and then she found out she had a similar debilitating condition, having nursed him until his death, was poignant. She decided to take her own life - what courage to travel to Switzerland and do that. She did not want to be a burden on her family and wanted to be remembered with dignity and as a strong capable woman. That is how most of us would want our families to remember us.

    Unfortunately for those with dementia, they go past the point when they can decide anything for themselves. My mother has Alzheimers, has been cared for well and does not realise what is happening to her, thankfully. However a recent stay in hospital proved how inadequate the staff were trained to deal with someone who could not speak, feed themselves, hold a cup to drink or communicate pain. That stay nearly killed her and only gentle nursing by th home and her husband stabilised her condition.

    However, most importantly, my family have been grieving for years since my mother became unable to participate in family life and we could see how she was being taken over by this 'alien' disease. Had she been able to see herself now. through our eyes, we know she would have wanted to end her life too. The pain of living grief for 6 years is enough to make me only more sure that I want to be able to express my wishes in a living will and advise my family when is the right time so that I can die with dignity.

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  • 135. At 8:28pm on 09 Apr 2009, redmeesh777 wrote:

    I am wondering how people would they feel if their own daughter/son or sister/brother wanted to end their own life- even if they were terminally ill? Would they agree? It is different when faced with the situation- you fight to stop that person killing themselves.

    And what message would assisted suicide send out to teenagers/younger children? What should I say about my sisters suicide to my own daughter of 14 years old?

    It's not ok to die by suicide but if assisted suicide is allowed it sends out the wrong message -that if life becomes a bit tough then just opt out and don't worry about the consequences.

    I do not want my child to see suicide as an option in the future.


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  • 136. At 9:00pm on 09 Apr 2009, nyankosan wrote:

    Redmeesh777 i cant imagine how hard that must have been however it is just has hard watching someone like your mother or siblings or even children live in the state that some people are in. it breaks peoples hearts and so much so that they can't face seeing them on their own. not all those will illnesses are looked after properly. i know this from personal experience. the health services paint a lovely picture on the supposed care that they give out. what the people who are for the arguement are saying is that there should be something in place that stops people living in conditions that human rights campaigners fight against. i am genuinely sorry if i sound rude by the way i dont mean to ^_^

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  • 137. At 9:26pm on 09 Apr 2009, handsomeknuffeltje wrote:

    I've got the idea that most people still don't understand what it means, I'm from Holland and my dad choose to have euthanasia 6 years ago because he was very ill, he had long cancer, he found out in september '02 and by may '03 he was so tired, not the man he was anymore, couldn't walk was a bag of bones and we all knew he wasn't going to get better, he was given up. That's no life for anyone, no doctors, nurses who all did their best to make his life more comfi did not get him feel better, luckily he was nursed at home with family who loved him, but it goes not the way every ones seems to think euthanasia works, my dad needed to ask the GP 3 times before he allows it to happen so he knows he wanted it badly and then there is another docter who comes and visited my dad and have a long talk with him, NOT the family only my dad, then the moment comes that a date is going to be maked for it to happen but before all that the doctor must let the court know about the whole procedure. The whole euthanasia (in my dad's case a injection)was a relief for my dad, even if we as kids and my mum were very sad but stood behind his dissision, we all couls say our goodbyes when he was still with us before it was done, it was very peacefull. So with other words it is not as easy everyones thinks it is, only alloud for people who are in a far stadium of there illness and nothing can be done and not to let them suffer and wait for the moment when they could die.

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  • 138. At 9:45pm on 09 Apr 2009, tripedveloman wrote:

    Ironically if I was dying I would be better able to face up to the
    prospect of carrying on living if I knew that I had the choice to end it
    if I wanted to. I believe I have a right to that choice and that in the
    present situation I would be denied that choice by other people's
    religious views. That is a denial of my human rights and my religious
    freedom.
    In any case it is hypocrisy. When my mother-in-law had a severe stroke
    in her 80's and had no prospect of a satisfactory recovery they starved
    her to death by withdrawing the feeding tube. I think, but cannot be
    certain, that she was totally unaware of what was happening. Don't get
    me wrong. The wonders of modern medical practice means that difficult
    decisions like that have to be made every day and I admire the people
    who shoulder that responsibility but I cannot see the moral superiority
    of ending a life by starvation and doing so quickly, painlessly and
    humanely.

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  • 139. At 9:52pm on 09 Apr 2009, 19charlie50 wrote:

    I have written to MPs etc to indicate my support for voluntary euthenasia but what else can I do?
    It is wrong to let animals suffer when there is an alternative. We are also animals. Some people against euthenasia suggest that it may be difficult to find people to administer the "fatal dose". I think not.
    Many of the previous comments are very moving and should be read by our decision makers.

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  • 140. At 10:00pm on 09 Apr 2009, Pamsie5 wrote:

    I've been reading all the blogs on euthanasia, and almost all of them support the right for a human being to end his or her own life if it becomes unbearable. 2 years ago my husband died of prostate cancer; during the last 3 months of his life he became more and more disabled, and the last 3 weeks were spent in a local hospice, as the cancer had spread to his brain and rendered him partially blind and unable to walk or feed himself unaided. His distress, fear and pain haunt me still; I was totally unable to help his suffering. Yes, the hospice staff were wonderful, and did their best to help him with the pain, but the last week of his life was the most appaling thing I have ever had to witness; he was such a kind and lovely man, why should he have been allowed to suffer for so long when his disease was incurable? To the people who insist that there is no safe legal way of assisting people to die, I say, "Give every citizen of the UK this choice; at the moment, life is have the

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  • 141. At 10:02pm on 09 Apr 2009, singingbusybee wrote:

    My dad died in 2000 of lung cancer he wanted to die before the disease took hold but did not have the option he did talk about ending his life in his garage but he was afraid my mum would not get the insurances because he committed suicide.
    He died in a hospice and we had to watch him drowning in his own lung fluid and because his heart was strong we had to watch this for over 20 minutes, with horrible gurgling sounds coming from him. He did not have a peaceful end as promised or expected by a hospice? We did complain about this and there answer was they did not have enough trained staff and also it was the weekend. I just think its mad we can end pets life to end their suffering and pain but we can't with human life. I feel strongly that we should have a choice, life is precious if your living it but not in bed rotting.

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  • 142. At 10:07pm on 09 Apr 2009, Pamsie5 wrote:

    Sorry, I am continuing the previous comment, unfiniished because I pressed the button too soon!
    I say, give every citizen of the UK the right to choose; at the moment, the "choice" is with people who do not agree with assisted suicide, so for over 80% of the population there is no choice at all, because they do wish to have the right to die at a time of their own choosing, but cannot do so. None of us can foretell the future; my mother died sitting in her armchair watching Wimbledon; she was in her 80s and had enjoyed a long and happy life. But this was an easy death compared with most. Here I am, widowed with no children and no close family; I had to fight my husband's corner on several occasions before his death; who will fight mine?
    Blogs are all very well, but how do we change the law?

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  • 143. At 10:21pm on 09 Apr 2009, Whitestetson wrote:

    I have listened to both sides of the argument and believe the individual should have the right to decide for the self. I have seen people with very little quality of life still wanting to hang on for every second awailable and it is right for them I have also seen (heros) who only became heros as they hed no fear of death and surley that must be right too. I do not want to die for the sake of dying as I still have a quality life but should it change then the decision must be mine. I am not advocating for doctors to end my life, just allow me the option to do it myself.

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  • 144. At 10:29pm on 09 Apr 2009, breezywheels wrote:


    For me the issue is about the provision of support/care that enables individuals to live with dignity for as long as is possible. Sadly palliative care is not available everywhere and when it is provided, it does not then include the care of people who have chronic illnesses. Independent living and self directed support are initiatives that go a long way towards giving people choice. But the funding of independence, of dignity for everyone, has to be an issue. How else can the support/care that is needed be purchased? I am pleased to acknowledge that my independence depends on the people who assist me. Today’s Panorama report has revealed the inadequacy of the care that is offered to the most vulnerable members of our society. We seem to have accepted that social care is too expensive. Assisted suicide would be a cheaper option. But is it really the right one?

    Jill Gillingham

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  • 145. At 00:42am on 10 Apr 2009, mumtokal wrote:

    I have never before been so angry about a piece that I had to write. How dare the lady this eveinng putting forward her idea of a case for not allowing assisted suicide. How patronising she was. How dare anyone who does not themselves suffer from a seriously dibilitating illness presume to know how we should feel. I am 48 years old and have suffered from a chronic and progressive connective tissue disease fdor 15 years already. Chronic and progressive means theres no cure and it will get worse. Already Ive had to give up work, am unable to perform many household or personal tasks myself, had to cease every hobby and activity I enjoyed etc. I take loads of medication and am in some degree of pain every day. If I take enough meds to take away the pain - I just sleep all the time. Most pills cause side effects and you need others to counteract that. I have a very clear idea of whats ahead for me, Ive seen it in my hospital ward. Scleroderma can affect every vital organ in the body and in all sorts of ways. I may be able to avoid kidney, heart, intestine problems, I already have lung, muscle and joint problems, everything can just cease up, stiffen up and cause pain. I have to be very careful in what I eat, food gets stuck in my asophgus and I choke, only 2 of my 8 fingers are any use now the rest are stuck fast bent over with ulcers on the joints. Frankly I have no desire to spend countless years just lying there being moved from time to time to avoid bed sores, being fed liquid supplements as thats all I can swallow, incontinent and being medicated 24 hrs a day by drip. Is it so hard to understand that its quality of life not length of life that counts? and no one has the right to make that choice, and thats what it should be, A CHOICE, but the person themselves. If Sara werew to spend some time in my shoes, or in those of thousands of people with diseases causing severe dibilitation, then she may very well understand why there is such a desperate need for that choice to be available when the time comes. Its not about palliative care, yes that is a good option for some with cancer, unless im mistaken people with terminal cancer do have an end that can be peacefully managed, it doesnt go on for years on end. Even the best palliative care money could buy would not improve my quaity of life when I reach a certain stage. And when I do reach that stage it should be my choice, not the Dr or the social services, but MINE.

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  • 146. At 07:35am on 10 Apr 2009, triciasmith wrote:

    I would wish to be allowed to die, should my life ever become insupportable to me. Why is death so terrible? If one is religious, then the afterlife will be better, and if not religious - then .. nothing! For many being forced to continue to live is far worse than death. I do not fear death, but I fear dying horribly and in a prolonged manner.

    If I watched a pet suffer, I would be condemned and possible prosecuted. Yet we have to watch people we love suffer - unable to help them. My beloved Father died of Altzheimers, after years of suffering, by refusing to eat - he just jammed his teeth together when we tried to feed him. Can you imagine how we felt? He would look at us with sad eyes, and say "help me" - and we couldn't.

    Dare I mention the taboo subject - money! How much does it cost to prolong the lives of those who would prefer to be allowed to die? I can hear the screams now - how can we put a price on life? You can't. But money comes into everything, as it is not a bottomless pot. Every penny spent keeping one of these sad people alive, could be spent helping someone else who really wants to live.

    I applaud those who want to live, in spite of pain or suffering, and they have the right to all the care we can give. I vote for choice - real choice for all. If I want to die, don't force me to continue living - allow me choice.

    I don't want to force my views on anyone else, so why do those who oppose euthanasia feel they have the right to force their views on me?

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  • 147. At 08:40am on 10 Apr 2009, kevblock wrote:

    Why not have euthanasia in this country, after watching Panorama last night, about caring for the old, I'd rather be out of it, than get treated the way are.

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  • 148. At 10:12am on 10 Apr 2009, adrianchristine1 wrote:

    Some people are worried about the stigma of suicide or feel that this is not an option people should have when life is difficult. If assisted suicide became an option for all regardless of health, then this stigma is likely to disappear.

    If people are finding life difficult for whatever reason, why shouldn't they have the right to choose to end it? Assisted suicide would mean that this could be done in a more dignified way.

    If I want to die, why should I stay alive just to make someone else feel better but to do so means that I have to be in pain of whatever kind or just do not choose to live.

    There are also people who have been to pain clinics etc but whose pain levels still cannot be managed.

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  • 149. At 10:51am on 10 Apr 2009, blackamycat wrote:

    Not only do I believe in assisted death (why call it suicide which is a very emotive word?) but I find it hard to take seriously the arguments made by Ms Odone et al on last night's programme. They are supporting the existing policy and not giving those with no religious beliefs the right to decide when we have had enough,for whatever reason, and it is now time to leave this world.
    The argument re the "great progress made in pain relief "works in certain situations e.g. home care with specialist nurses and hospices, but often, not Hospitals. But anyone watching the Panorama programme on home care for the old, sick and vulnerable could see that pain relief was not in abundance or being carried out adequately. In any case pain is not the only reason to want to die. Infirmity, loss of dignity, loneliness, inability to care for oneself, will not be relieved with drugs and casual,brief visits from "carers".
    I have taken responsibility for my life since I became an adult - some 50 years ago. I have requested that, if the circumstances are suitable, that my body is given to medical teaching. If I can make decisions as to how and when I have medical treatment I think I also have the right to decide when I leave that life behind.
    May I add that I speak as someone who cared for my mother for nearly six years, the last two of which she repeatedly asked for no more treatment as she "had had enough", and have been through the experiences of two suicides within the family. I only wish that the people concerned had had the opportunity of an easier death at the time they wished for it.

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  • 150. At 11:31am on 10 Apr 2009, Deathsentence wrote:

    I'm definitely want to die, its not just a whim, l've wanted to for some years. Committing suicide is not as easy as it sounds. We keep hearing about palliative care when patients are at the end of their lives. l'm not, l could go on for years. l would give all the physical details but the worst thing about my life is the abject misery. They call it Depression but people )Psychiatrists) keep telling you it can be treated. Well mine hasn't. My pain isn't controlled and l have tremendous problems sleeping. l would love to go to Dignitas but l can't now. How do l find out how to die. Life is unbearable. No-one understands. If you've never wanted to die, l mean really wanted to die, you can't judge. I truly feel for families who have lost to suicide but truly one person can only live their lives for themselves. Meaning, the misery overrides love. No-one else is responsible for another's suicide. Trust that your loved one is out of misery, it is in no way a reflection on anyone else. Usually, depression is unseen, there are no obvious symptoms, we pretend we are okay until we cannot pretend anymore. It isn't something you can tell a relative usually because you want to protect them. Imagine saying "Hey, l'm thinking of taking my own life, what do you think"? Let go of the guilt. They would want you to live a full and happy life. Sorry l went off subject but that is yet another topic for your show. Also, on the blog, we have read much about animals (pets). Another topic for Dr Sarah. The absolute lack of understanding of the effect of the loss of a pet and a corralation between that and suicide.

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  • 151. At 11:58am on 10 Apr 2009, christineval wrote:

    How dare the 'pro-life' campaigners on last night's programme pontificate about palliative care being the answer. Not everyone has a loving and caring family to see them though a terminal illness, nor are caring families necessarily equipped to provide the level of care needed. After viewing the Panorama programme later in the evening, what price 'life' compared with the quality of life endured by some of those unfortunate victims. I have nursed three members of my family through terminal cancer, and have made it clear to my sons that i wish to end my life before i become a too infirm to look after myself. I have long been a member of 'Dignity in Dying', I have a 'living will' and I hope that my wishes will be respected.

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  • 152. At 2:24pm on 10 Apr 2009, Nicola Lynne wrote:

    I'm heartbroken writing this - 18 months ago I had a stroke - it affected the thalamus area of my brain. I now have a neurological condition called Central Pain - it cannot be helped by pain-killers.

    Neurologists describe pain suffered as devastating, bizarre, savage, catastrophic...to which I would add eerie, evil...unrelenting.

    I do not want to have assisted suicide - but my pain is getting worse daily. Those who say there should be no assisted suicide should be AS VOCIFEROUS about finding a cure for Central Pain.

    Please please can anyone help me? Trying to find something that can help my condition - perhaps some advanced form of hypnotherapy/healing? Anything.

    You cant debate about suicide with the level of ignorance society has about this neuro pain -'the worst pain known to humanity'. CENTRAL PAIN.

    Please let me ask for any help. thank you.

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  • 153. At 4:50pm on 10 Apr 2009, Ricardo2 wrote:

    I agree with euthanasia. We are all people living on this planet. What gives one person the right to decide how another should die. Surely it's better to die with dignity and not in pain.

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  • 154. At 5:42pm on 10 Apr 2009, mrsBettyp wrote:

    I have read some of the views expressed but have found them too distressing to read very many.
    Why should people who are terminally ill and in serious pain or people who have had an accident and their quality of life has completely gone, be forced to endure it simply because other people are against euthanasia. We don't allow animals to endure such to existance so why are humans forced to?
    Of course there will be abuse of the system and there should be as many safeguards as possible, and those who disagree with euthanasia should make their views known to relatives and doctors, but why should they inflict their views on the rest of us?
    I think human beings should be allowed to choose when to go , and to die a with a little dignity.

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  • 155. At 10:59pm on 10 Apr 2009, sporazin wrote:

    The item on euthanasia was very thought provoking and having read the blogs contained on this site i think it only a matter of time before a legal exit strategy is adopted in this country.
    What interested me the most about the item was the coverage of existing paliative care and hospice facilities. I am heartened to read some bloggers comments who are outraged that Hospice facilities generally have to be funded from private and charitable donations. My father died from cancer but despite his pain and sorrow at leaving his family i dont think he would have opted for euthanasia. The hospice was the saviour who held his hand from this world to the next and managed his pain and care to make that journey as comfortable as is currently possible. I live in the Walsall area and there are currently no hospice facilities for walsall people. Later this year a new hospice is being built at Goscote Lane,Bloxwich. The "Friends of Walsall Hospice" have to raise 1.5 million pounds to equip this 12 bed facility. We desperately need people to aid the fundraising for this much needed hospice facility. If the Oneshow would like to explore this issue further please get in touch.

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  • 156. At 11:42pm on 10 Apr 2009, hastings-clough wrote:

    My opinion is based on experience. Almost 5 years ago I had major surgery for colorectal cancer which ended in having a permanent colostomy. Whilst in the ward I had the most disturbing experience of listening to the excruciating suffering of the poor man in the bed next to me. The nurses could not find anywhere on his body to administer pain relief. He howled with pain like a helpless dog. On the evening of his passing his daughter arrived from Italy and I could hear her begging her father to ' hang in there Dad we love you very much and we want you back ' My God, I thought; here is a man who is of advanced age who has absolutely no chance of survival and his daughter is begging him to ' hang in there '!! My mind was made up with absolute certainty and conviction that should I find myself in similar circumstances I would not want to subject my family and carers to such trauma. I am in the process of making a living will, stating clearly the circumstances when my life should be terminated. I hope I do not need to go to Holland or Switzerland to have my decision respected but I will if I have to. Nobody has the right to dictate how and when a fellow human being dies and I would like to see this subject taken out of the legal and government arena altogether. The decision should be left to me and my doctor. It ought to have nothing to do with State, Church or High Court. There will always be some who will abuse the right of euthanasia whatever the any law says. I would also like to see euthanasia not referred to as 'assisted suicide'.

    Hastings-Clough, Haywards Heath

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  • 157. At 1:13pm on 11 Apr 2009, Rondevlei wrote:

    I watched the tv clip by a lady who was against assissted suicide and showed in evidence a man who had a terminal condition who did not
    want aid to end his life. What evidence is this other than that some
    people would want this help and others would not? Where is there any
    statement from those in favour that anyone should be forced to accept
    help to die if they do not want it? The main thrust around this subject is the legal framework to be put in place to ensure that no
    ruthless people can do away with the eldery for profit. I am sure that legal minds can come up with the necessary format and my own suggestion is that this should start with an individual still in the prime of life making the necessary arrangements(setting out the circumstances when assisted suicide would be invoked) with a totally independant legal practitioner and in the absence of any relatives or possible beneficiaries to his/her will. The Exit Society already have an excellent setup. Once this precident is set an affirmation would be made when the individual is of advanced years but still complis mentis. Finally when the circumstances are met & legal and medical opinions are in agreenment the individual is asked if they are still of the same mind regarding assisted suicide and if necessary a pre-arranged signal may indicate the answer. At this point relatives may visit and have the confirmation demonstrated if the answer is affirmative. However the inability to have the arrangement confirmed or negated at this stage would not preclude the proceedure going ahead. I do not see that the arrangements have anything whatsoever to do with anyone else. The only other requirement in my arrangements would be to ensure that no medical practitioner should be asked to perform this last act of mercy against their wishes or beliefs and a local register of those willing to do this should be kept at every hospital, nursing home and surgery within every primary health care area. My belief is that any religious involvement or views on this matter are totally irrelavant as over 90% of the population no longer involve themselves in it in any way at all and obviously those that do would not want to go through the process of registration.

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  • 158. At 09:49am on 12 Apr 2009, caroleamy wrote:

    My father died by drowning last November. He was 83 years old and had told me many times that he dreaded not being in control of his death. He wanted to be independent to the end and he did not fear death. He had asbestosis and had lost interest in living - he had had enough. I wish that there had been a way of helping him to die and that I could have been with him when it happened. As it was he told me nothing, left his flat at 11.30 on Remembrance Sunday and was found an hour later floating in the harbour by some young fishermen. Then yachtsmen pulled him from the water and the Emergency Services tried to resuscitate him. How sad for all of them - all strangers trying to save a man who did not want to be saved.
    The right to choose a dignified end to life is surely something that we should all demand. The Government should realise that choice does not need to mean compulsion.

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  • 159. At 11:47am on 16 Apr 2009, grumpyseniorcitizen wrote:

    I am at an age where I have seen a number of friends die,including my first wife 40 yrs ago.
    She died as the result of misdiagnosed breast cancer. At his moment I have a good friend, a woman who has only days to live.
    I have promised my wife that if she is ever in the position of having an incurable and painful illness I will help her to end it. I do not care if I spend the rest of my days in prison. Rather that than see her suffer. She is more precious to me that our dog and he is very special.

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