It should be my right to choose how to end my days

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I was interested to read about Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield backing a new bid to change the law on assisted dying after his terminally ill father took his own life.

It is an extremely difficult subject as life is so precious and fragile and having lost many loved ones over the years (including three younger people recently who died long before their time) one also realises it can be taken away at any time.

However, I believe when people no longer have a good quality of life due to either terminal illnesses or feeling trapped in bodies that no longer function properly with loss of mobilty, provided they are in sound mind and capable of making an informed decision, they should be able to determine when they die.

I know it is hard for relatives to come to terms with this but I am sure no one wishes to see their loved ones suffer and they should not have to leave the country to visit Dignitas in order to obtain the right to die. Safeguards can be put in place to ensure no pressure is placed upon people to end their lives in this way.

I acknowledge that there is wonderful palliative care in hospices around the country and also many decent care homes who look after the sick and elderly. If people choose one of these in which to end their days then this is fine but for many, including myself, this would not be for me and I would want to be able to choose euthanasia if and when I am no longer enjoying my life and believe it should be my right to choose how I want to end my days.

We all fear death and the unknown but for me the greatest fear is the thought of having to endure pain and discomfort and losing my independence as I lose the capability to look after myself.

Paul Blomfield has witnessed first hand the awful pain and suffering his father had to endure and as he said “he deserved a better death”.

I wish him every success.

Susan Richardson