Dignity in Dying
I am proud to be part of Dignity in Dying South East Kent regional branch. This is a very emotive subject, but I find very few people who are against freedom of choice. Some may well have reservations about assisted dying, that is understandable. When our stance is explained to people most will agree that we all should have the right of choice.
In a recent poll, 84% of people agreed with our thoughts on assisted dying.
Yes it is difficult to think about death, but as adults we need to. After all the only guarantee that we have in life is that one day we will die.
In essence we believe in -
CHOICE over where we die, who is present and our treatment options.
ACCESS to expert information on our options, good quality end-of-life care.
CONTROL over how we die, our symptoms, pain relief and planning our own death.
We believe the right law for the UK is one that allows dying people, with six months or less to live the option to control their death. We do not support a wider law.
Dying people are not suicidal – they don’t want to die but they do not have the choice to live. When death is inevitable, suffering should not be. Along with good palliative care, dying people deserve the choice to control the timing and manner of their death.
Dying people not doctors in control.
Assisted dying should be controlled by the dying person. Dying people should have support to take the final act that brings about their peaceful death.
We do not support a law that would allow anyone to end another’s life, euthanasia. This is an important definition and protection to ensure that an assisted death is completely voluntary.
People are suffering and dying without dignity, many they feel that have limited choice or their only choice is suicide.
Dying people are already ending their lives to avoid painful and undignified deaths. Many pay thousands of pounds to travel abroad to guarantee a safe and peaceful death. They do so to access a proven and safe way to control their death with medical supervision.
Many more cannot travel so risk a painful and gruesome death by ending their lives at home.
Statistics show that 300 people a year will commit suicide who have a terminal diagnosis. That is almost one a day, so today someone somewhere in the UK will commit suicide who has a terminal illness. I think we have all heard stories of people falling in front of trains or falling from high places, with the news report talking about their terminal illness. Wouldn't it be better if these 300 people had the choice to die at home? We believe dying people should have the means to control their death safely and comfortably at home, with their family and friend with them.
Respecting peoples consciences
Some healthcare professionals may not wish to support dying people to control their death. The law should respect this.
People who do not wish to support assisted dying shouldn’t be forced to do so.
A more compassionate country and NHS
As a country we have a long and proud history of providing free and compassionate healthcare. Forcing people to travel abroad and pay thousands of pounds for a dignified death is cruel and wrong.
Dying people deserve high quality end-of-life care, yes palliative care is a big part of this and so should the choice of assisted dying.
A law proven to work
We believe that doctors, patients and the public need to have confidence that the law on assisted dying will work in practice, will be safe and will remain unchanged.
That is why we call for a law based on one that has worked safely in Oregon and has remained unchanged since 1997, that is 20 years unchanged. It is a law that is now in place in California, Washington and other US states.
The Bill we are pushing for is:
limited to terminally ill and mentally competent adults
requires the dying person to end their own life and does not permit another person to do it for them
has a waiting period to give dying people time to reflect on their decision
requires assessment by doctors and a high-court judge
allows the dying person to die at home
Thank you for reading this, if you would like to support our cause please talk to your family and friends about us, talking is key. Maybe if you wanted to help us more join our Facebook page.
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