My care, my choice

As a campaigner for assisted dying, I accept that we have to convince people of the need to change.  The onus is firmly on us.

But just for a moment, I would like to switch roles with the opposition and place the onus on them to come up with a better solution for those patients who are let down by the inadequacies of the current system.  There is, thankfully, total acceptance on both sides of the argument that palliative care has its limitations.  As many as 28.7% of assisted dying patients in Oregon cited inadequate pain control as a factor in their decision, and even the Catholic Church accepts that up to 5% of people cannot access palliative care in any form.

It has to be said that a vote against assisted dying is a vote which condemns these patients to more needless suffering.

It is as though these people who suffer - our family, our friends and our neighbours - do not feature in the thinking of those who oppose assisted dying, for they offer no credible alternative.

β€œThe palliative care in Guernsey is excellent,” they cry unashamedly, without even realising that such generalisations are insulting.  

The only person qualified to judge the effectiveness of palliative care is the patient receiving it.

It is my care.  It should be my choice.