I respect Jane Campbell and others’ desire to prolong their lives and make no judgment call on anyone else’s quality of life. Sadly, I feel this respect is not always reciprocated. Her argument against assisted dying for terminally ill people when distilled is no different from those who trump the sanctity of life above the wishes of those who want to have the choice of an assisted death. Campbell and other anti-choice campaigners seek not only to judge the quality of my death, but to impose their views on me and many others at the end of life – a survey of 3,000 deaths by Professor Clive Seale found that almost one in 10 dying patients asked for help to die.
I am dying of pancreatic cancer. I wish I wasn’t. But dying isn’t a failure on my part, it is part of life. I wish to live as long as possible, but not at the expense of enduring an undignified death. In the final days or weeks of my life, if I consider my suffering to be unbearable, I would like the choice to die at home at a time of my choosing surrounded by my loved ones.