Kevin was 60 and was suffering from terminal renal cancer. As a result of recent complications he had lost the use of his legs and could only crawl around the house. He was also very breathless.
Despite receiving good end of life care, he must have felt that he was unable to go on in that state, knowing his death was inevitable and imminent.
My brother had watched our mother die a long drawn out death from cancer two years before, and he was determined not to suffer the same fate. He spent his last few months working out how to end his life, and managed in the end, but at what cost to himself in terms of his final hours, and to those he left behind?
…he could have died at home, in bed, with his wife and family beside him, not alone in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs.
Kevin was angry that he could not choose a dignified death once his suffering became too much to bear. Had assisted dying been an option in the UK he could have died at home, in bed, with his wife and family beside him, not alone in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs.
What is more, if the choice had been available to him, that knowledge might have been enough, and he may never have chosen that route, and might have been with us for longer.
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