I have Multiple Sclerosis. This incurable disease brings problems in the form of muscle spasms, incontinence, lack of mobility and loss of motor control. Symptomatic treatment is at best only partly palliative.
For now, the quality of my life is reasonable but I also have cancer which is contained within my bones at present. My doctors tell me that there is a good chance that it will come back. Despite medication, I suffered a great deal of pain during the period the cancer was more active. I fully understand why some people at the very end stages of terminal cancer want help to die.
As a former nurse I am aware that despite the best medical care and the finest hospices there is a chance of dying in pain and certainly in distress, with a loss of my personal dignity. I would like the opportunity to choose the time and place of my death if life becomes unbearable. To do this I would need the help of a doctor who would be open to prosecution by offering help. The law needs to be changed so that this simple humanitarian assistance can be offered to those who wish for it, this should be within the law, provided that appropriate safeguards are in place.
We are sad to have to inform you that Jane passed away in August 2009. She was a tireless campaigner for the cause and will be sadly missed.
The accounts made in the personal stories section of the Dignity in Dying website reflect the views of the authors. The views of Dignity in Dying may differ. For Dignity in Dying's mission please go to: http://www.dignityindying.org.uk/about.html
Should you want to contact any of the people featured in these pages, or wish to share your own story with us, please contact Jo Cartwright:
020 7479 7737 or 07725 433 025