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Good journey sir. Thank you for this piece. I feel your model should become an international standard.

I am saddened to see you are so young.

> ... and enforce the barbaric torture of decay and failure. It's especially relevant for cancer, which is a primary cause of death

I'm glad you find yourself somewhere enlightened. As someone who watched his father die of cancer over 2.5-3 years in the UK it almost robbed me of my father for a while. The last six months were brutal. He was either away with the fairies on Morphine, or in his increasingly rare lucid moments, pleading with NHS to reduce his dose. He chose pain and lucidity over a zombie state yet was often denied that choice as the system sought to reduce pain above all. He made it plain when he could, many times during the end months, that he didn't want to play this game any more.

Post death, our memories were of the brutality, of the incoherent husk on drugs who had had enough long since, of the ever increasing dosages and tripping in the system's wish to reduce pain, of the morphine smell. Of being increasingly worn down by it. It was harder in those early weeks after death to remember the real man, so defined by his mind, intelligence, humour and practical jokes. I still miss my best friend.

The UK is no nearer enlightenment on this topic today than 20 years ago when my father died. The views of those claiming a hotline to god, in our increasingly atheistic country, were exceptionally hard to hear, yet always sought in any media discussion of euthanasia.

I am thankful your children and other family will have the blessing of kinder memories.




At least the UK seems to be making moves toward a better system, Terry Pratchett had a bit to do with it. The rest of the european countries are blind to this issue.

This is something that hits very close to home, as I'm in the same path as Pieter and your father and I see that path getting me to the same end. If that happens, I'd like to end on my terms, not as the husk that you describe and not after having my family go through all the pain that you describe.


The only real change in the last few years is when Kier Starmer, then Director of Public Prosecution (now a Labour MP), released a set of guidelines on what criteria are used to decide whether to bring a prosecution in a case of assisted dying. (The CPS have a two-stage test to determine whether to bring a prosecution: firstly, are they likely to succeed? And secondly, is it in the public interest to bring a prosecution. The guidelines clarify what the public interest criteria are for assisted dying cases.)

It's intended to make it so that the relatives of someone who travelled abroad for assisted dying are less likely to be prosecuted under the Suicide Act 1961.

See http://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/feb/25/assisted-suic...

Pretty much all attempts at legal change (whether through legislation or through court action) in the UK have been a failure. It pops up every few years in Parliament and is then roundly voted down.


We seem to be progressing at glacial pace. I hope we've got there if it comes to be a choice I have to consider.

The Terry Pratchett documentary was challenging to watch, but very well made. At least it gave rise to a somewhat more rational discussion of the topic than they often are. It's sure to be out there on a torrent or YT for anyone who's not seen it.




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