STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death – I want to have control of my life – by Virginia Ironside

My mother had always made me promise I would make sure that, if she was terminally ill, she would be snuffed out “like a candle”. She didn’t want to remain guttering till the end. But even in the good old days, when doctors were far more free with the morphine jabs, it was still difficult to get her wishes fulfilled. After another setback in her treatment – my mother had cancer and was talking gibberish most of the time, except when she had a blood transfusion when she’d beg me to get the doctors to end it all – the doctor in charge called me into his consulting room. “Nothing to worry about!” he said breezily. “We’ll have her up and going to the opera and playing tennis in no time at all!”

As any idea of exercise was anathema to my mother, who had twice tried to commit suicide during the previous few years, and since going to the opera was her idea of hell, I broke down. “She doesn’t want to live!” I said. It was to no avail. It was an agonising week later, that a nurse took me aside. “Your mother has no hope,” she said bluntly. “I’m a Roman Catholic, but I beg you to ask the doctors to do something. She is in terrific pain, physical and mental.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/assisted-dying-bill-i-want-to-be-able-to-decide-about-my-own-death–i-want-to-have-control-of-my-life-10012124.html

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