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.
Sir Patrick Stewart: ‘Assisted dying must be a fundamental right for us all’.