Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

'Assisted death' proposal a very dangerous path

WITH reference to Gail Walker's excellent article on assisted dying (DebateNI, July 15), I absolutely agree with her.

When I was wrongly diagnosed with terminal cancer I was told to prepare for death and that I would be kept on a drip until the end. I was told I had three months to live.

Luckily, I knew enough to see that the condition of my health was improving and my kidneys were once again functioning normally. So, after a heartbreaking night, I made it clear that I was discharging myself and intended to get a second opinion.

I contacted a London hospital, where I had been an outpatient, and they had me in fairly quickly and carried out their own investigations to find that my problems were gallstones, which they dealt with, and I was home once more enjoying my family.

There was another patient who, according to her husband, had lost several stones in weight (and suffered from the same condition as myself). I don't want to think of what happened to her.

If this assisted dying rule is applied it will be no different from the infamous Liverpool Pathway that was responsible for so many so-called 'assisted deaths' without the patient knowing that they were not being helped to get well, but being helped to die.

For those who worry that the pain and suffering is more than they can bear, I have to say that, with adequate pain relief, no patient should have that experience.

DR ROSALEEN ROGERS

Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

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