Dignitas……

14 Jun

I would like to congratulate Sir Terry Pratchett & the BBC for making such a well informed & moving documentary about Dignitas & the valuable contribution they have made in helping people who are faced with the unimaginable prospect of suffering deteriorating health.  It is however, a shame that people have to travel toSwitzerlandto have their wishes met & that the cost of this is around £10,000 which, to many is simply beyond their means.

In today’s news the claims of the anti-assisted dying lobby were that the program was biased & failed to give a balanced view of the alternative palliative care available.  However, there have been a number of recent documentaries about palliative care, one of which focused on patients who wanted to die at home & demonstrated the distress caused to both the patient & their relatives due to inadequate pain management & the sporadic visits made by the healthcare professionals.

The subject of assisted dying is difficult to legislate for & the concerns that are frequently raised are legitimate.  However, when taken on a case by case basis I believe any form of coercion could easily be identified.

It should be the choice of the individual when & where they die.  Should they choose to end their suffering in a painless and dignified manner they should not have to pay thousands of pounds and have to travel thousands of miles to do so.  Our own law, although stating it is illegal to assist a suicide, already negates prosecution providing the motive is born out of love & care.  We just need to take the final step in legalizing assisted dying.  For some people who are not able to access the services of Dignitas the consequences can be far worse for all concerned than it would be if legislation was in place, should you find yourself in that position.

We need a proper debate & we need it now.  Ask yourself the question “What would I want?”…….

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