The right to die

Everyone knows that this is an emotive subject and this issue has been going on for decades.

The first thing I want to say is that religion should be kept right out of it. The right to die has always failed because there are so many current and retired priests in the Lords that it has always failed.

It is not about religion at all; it is all about humanity and dignity.

My wife, Liesel, had terminal cancer and one day, we were sitting on the bed just chatting and she said that she wanted to make a pact with me. What she was concerned about was her loss of dignity and I agreed that when it came to the time, I would massively increase her morphine intake so that she slipped away peacefully.

When it came to the time, I had a knife that I was going to use to turn the morphine level up. I was in South Africa where she wanted to die, in her family home.

But at the time, I loved my daughter Verity so very much. If I was caught, I would have been immediately arrested and thrown in a South African prison; I would have never seen my daughter again and, by now, I would be dead.

I said to Liesel that I could not do it because if I had been caught, I would not have seen our little girl ever again. If I had a crystal ball and had known that Verity was going to betray me the way that she did, I would have done it, no question.

Liesel should have told her parents but she did not want to upset them, even though everyone knew she was dying.

When she was close to death, two days before she died, she was trying to catch her breath and gunk was coming out of her mouth and nose. To watch it was heart breaking but I could do nothing about it. Her parents just sat in their chairs, right next to her, watching her struggle to breath.

A nurse had been brought in, not to look after Liesel but to watch certain family members as her mother caught on that we wanted to help her along. She was on guard.

Even though it was 14 years ago, I can still remember everything. It was horrible. Yes, it was in another country but the principal is the same. She lost her dignity and was in discomfort, with stuff oozing from her face.

How can that be right? It cannot. How can we let a fellow human being suffer like that. We cannot.

Opponents of the right to die are like stuck records; they always say that the dying person will be coerced to take his or her life. With the right safeguards, that will all be removed.

We must let those who are mentally stable but in great pain and suffering choose to die with dignity. It is said many times but is totally true; we would not treat an animal like that and would put it to sleep.

Time and time again, it is agreed that we are superior to animals so what applies to them applies to us, when someone is close to death, to give them some peace.

Published by David Hender (copyright owner- all rights reserved)

If you want to know me, you first need to understand where I have been and where I am going

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