Colin Marriage

19 May

He asked many times why his suffering was being prolonged


Colin Marriage’s story, written by his sister Kelley.


When my brother Colin was diagnosed with terminal cancer last October, aged just 40, we reassured him that pain relief and care is so good these days that he would be able to die peacefully and in comfort, and that we would be with him. The care that Colin received at the end of his life was excellent.


He decided to die in hospital and the staff were fantastic. They moved a bed into the room so that his partner could be with him, helped us to organise a beautiful and moving wedding and gave him all the care and treatment he needed. The doctors did all they could within the law to help him.


Despite their best efforts Colin did not have the death he wished for. In the week leading up to his death Colin asked his doctor how long he had left – when the doctor told him he expected him to live for about another week he cried – the first time I had seen him cry since he was a child – not because he had so little time left but because he was in such pain, unable to eat or sleep properly, and could not stop being sick.


He simply could not bear the thought of another week of life. He asked many times why his suffering was being prolonged, and one of the last things he said to me was that it wasn’t right to treat people in such a way.

  • Marie Foskett

    I agree entirely with this story and have experienced similar with my husband. We could no longer control the pain at home and he was admitted to a hospice for symptom management /pain control. Similarly we expected cancer pain could be managed, it could not. The last week of my husband’s life was unbearable and he asked me why they couldn’t give him something to ‘knock him out’. The drug dose permitted was never sufficient to avoid requiring ‘breakthrough’ drugs (i.e. when pain is so severe it breaks through the base line drug being given and a top up, short lasting drug is needed). Breakthrough drugs mean the patient is experiencing acute pain, there is a delay in the drugs being administered and a delay waiting for them to work…it is not acceptable when end of life is inevitable to allow such suffering. If you don’t support this bill you need to talk to someone who is in this situation, see their agony and suffering, knowing that they have only a week to live and have to endure such terrible pain and suffering. In our case I doubt that my husband would have considered assisted suicide until he reached this final week when the pain and suffering reached unbearable levels.

  • william conroy

    This is my reason for backing Dignity. It am sure that drugs have a limited effect under the present regime.

  • Suzanne

    My much loved son died age 23 in 2013 from a stem cell transplant to treat Leukaemia. Three days before he died we were told that a failure to resuscitate had been given and he was visited later by a palliative care consultant. My son asked the consultant to knock him out so he would suffer no more. The consultant said by law he couldn’t do that. However after his visit an iv morphine was set up and shortly after my son became unconscious. 16 hours later my son died. He was asleep and free from pain. His huge fear of struggling for his last breath was unfounded.
    I will never know if my son’s death was assisted but if it was I thank the consultant from the bottom of my heart.
    I have still not got over the loss of my boy but I have comfort from the fact he didn’t suffer. How can this be wrong?