Writing for ITV News, actor Sir Patrick Stewart says Bob Cole’s death shows why assisted dying must be a fundamental right for us all. He Writes:
I had always been a supporter of assisted dying, but I became a campaigner after a horrifying event.
My life-long friend’s wife was diagnosed with a serious terminal illness, and she was one of the people in this country for whom palliative care could not help.
In considerable pain she decided to end her life using a stockpile of opiates. But she didn’t die.
Taken to the hospital she was kept alive and eventually returned home, a sense of regret not at her decision, but its outcome.
Her mind was clearly made up – she was mentally competent, and her death was inevitable. She knew she wanted to end it and the pain she must have endured I can’t imagine.
Shortly after returning home she asked her husband – my friend – to walk the dog one night. Insisting that she would be OK for 15 minutes, he left and did as she asked. During that time she put a plastic bag over her head, and knotted the strings. This time, she died.
When I heard the news, and the circumstances around her death, I couldn’t comprehend the horror of what she must have experienced. I still can’t.
And now another person has been forced to take drastic measures to control their own inevitable death.
Bob Cole, like myself, was a campaigner with Dignity in Dying.
Follow Up-to-date coverage on ITV: British Man Calls for change to Assisted Dying Bill.
Bob Cole’s final wish was for assisted suicide to be legalised in the UK. Today he ended his life in a Swiss clinic. The 68-year-old carpenter from Chester had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He invited ITV News to travel with him to Switzerland.
We were together at the demonstration outside parliament when the Assisted Dying Bill was being debated in the House of Lords.
He also had a personal story for supporting the campaign having accompanied his wife to Dignitas last year.
Then in a cruel twist of fate he also became terminally ill only a short time after he accompanied his wife.
He has now made the same journey, in excruciating pain, to have the same control. How can we, as a civilised society, allow this to happen? Currently we force people to suffer against their wishes, and use the force of the law to threaten those who would help their family and friends if asked to assist in a death.
To read the rest of this article by Sir Patrick Stewart click on the link below.
Sir Patrick Stewart: ‘Assisted dying must be a fundamental right for us all’.