On this page, we highlight testimonies from people who do not support a change in the law. Have you got a story? Email:


Having worked in the past as a district nurse I have had the privilege of being with people at the end of their lives. I have supported people during their last months and final moments. I am very grateful that assisted suicide is not an option.

We cared for people and demonstrated that their lives mattered to the very end - that we were not going to speed their end, and there was no pressure for them to give up. We just wanted people to have comfort and dignity. Of course, this does involve suffering, but good palliative care can relieve distressing symptoms and pain.

If assisted suicide was legal it would bring so much pressure on people when they are ill, tired, and vulnerable. Instead, we should care for everyone in society, at every stage of life.

John and Pauline

Our own experience with loved ones dying in recent years has been my husband's Mum and Dad. Both were diagnosed with stomach cancer, Mum in 2011 and Dad in 2017, and spent their last weeks in a hospice. If they had been offered assisted suicide they would have missed out on those last months of precious time with family. 

They were overall kept pain-free both whilst they were still at home and when they were admitted to the Hospice. I was not present for Mum's death but John, my husband, was and he and his sister were able to be with Mum in her last days at the Hospice staying overnight each night with Dad and sister's husband staying with her during the day. They were overwhelmed by the care shown to Mum and by the care and compassion shown towards the family by the Hospice Staff.

I was able to be present more when John's Dad was admitted to the Hospice and again was blown away by the care and compassion of all the staff from doctors and nurses to catering staff and cleaners, shown not just to Dad but to the whole family. This continued once Dad had died with sympathy and practical help with all the arrangements that needed to be made.


I spent the last 15 years of my NHS career as a palliative nurse specialist, first of all in a hospice, finally working in the community. I supported people with terminal illness, mainly helping them stay at home by relieving symptoms and supporting them and their families so they did not need to be admitted to hospital.

It was an extremely rewarding and satisfying experience. I believe if skilled, compassionate palliative care is available to all, very few will seek to end their own lives, or ask a healthcare professional or family member to enable this to happen. I believe that it is especially important that depression is addressed.

I am grateful that at the moment euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal. I am horrified by reports from nations where they are legal, knowing that many have had their lives ended because they are overwhelmed by the sense that they are a burden on others. For the benefit of the vulnerable, the disabled and those who feel guilty about being a 'burden', I sincerely hope the law will not change.


My own experience as a disabled person has strengthened my belief that legalising assisted suicide would be not only wrong but would prove a disaster for patient care and for the doctor-patient relationship, as well as serving to exclude from the medical profession those doctors who do not believe in killing their patients.

From the time I began to experience troubling symptoms involving my balance, muscle weakness and exhaustion, as well as digestive problems and fainting, it took approximately 10 years to obtain a diagnosis - which only resulted from my own efforts, and in the face of indifference, rudeness and erroneous information recorded ln my patient notes. It became clear to me that the NHS does not need any more patients, and the attitude of some of their personnel suggested that euthanasia/assisted suicide would be the next logical step for unwanted patients, or those who do not conveniently slot into one category of disease.

My experiences have not only been distressing on a personal level, but have acted as a warning of what would happen should assisted suicide ever be legalised. Once death is accepted as a legitimate response to suffering, who will dare to complain? Complaining will merely prompt the suggestion that the patient consider 'assisted dying', and from the point of view of the health services - which do not need any more patients - killing is always cheaper than caring.

Every jurisdiction that legalises ‘assisted dying’ with ‘strict safeguards’ soon drops the safeguards as soon as the law is passed and proceeds to include euthanasia for mental problems as death becomes the first resort rather than the last. If possible, this prospect is even more terrifying for a supposedly civilised society.


My husband became ill with Parkinson’s and epilepsy in his 70s and lost the power to walk. As his wife, I became his carer. A couple of times he told me he didn’t think he could go on with life.  I explained that if he wanted to, we could talk to our GP, my husband could stop taking all his medication and our GP would arrange medication to keep him comfortable until he died, as they do for people with terminal cancer. Neither time did my husband continue the conversation.

I’m so glad there was no option of assisted suicide. I watched Terry Pratchett’s programme about it and the horrible death of the man who chose Dignitas, when he briefly cried out for a drink before dying. I see how the numbers go on creeping up in countries where assisted suicide is legal. We need more hospices not assisted suicide so that everyone can die with dignity.


I have worked as the manager of a charity that provided care at home and as a district nurse. I am trained in palliative care and have significant experience caring for those with terminal illness and chronic conditions. Based on my experience, I fear that many elderly people will feel compelled to opt for an ‘assisted death’ because they feel that they are a burden on their families or the NHS.

Over the years, I have encountered rare examples of family members or neighbours requesting that I or nursing colleagues increase medication to bring about death more quickly. The purpose of this has been, sadly, so that the relative might gain money, property, or some other inheritance more quickly. This is shocking, I know, but it happens, and I fear that such incidents would be more prevalent under an assisted dying law.

I have had patients ask me to kill them as their suffering is so great. But in every case, once they have received the correct treatment – counselling, pain relief or just emotional support – they have changed their minds and later thanked me for not assisting their suicide. They have gone on to enjoy extra life and seasons, important events like weddings or the birth of a grandchild and then been able to say a proper goodbye to family and friends.

There can always be dignity in natural death if it is handled well and with enough resources. A good death does look dignified, even in the most difficult of circumstances.


My wife of 27 years died from very nasty form of lymphoma. If assisted suicide had been available, and she had opted for this solution, we would have missed out on so many wonderful memories, and I would not have realised what an amazing woman I had married.

We both grew so much closer during her illness. Family and friends came to visit regularly, and they too noticed the changes that took place in us.

Now, 16 years on from her death, I look back at this time we had together and realise what a treasure it was. I’m so glad I found out about the lovely qualities my wife had, many of which weren’t on display prior to her cancer. Assisted suicide would have stolen this precious legacy from me.


My husband is severely disabled and housebound and others looking in may see only the pain and their perception of a poor quality of life and yes there are times when he gets depressed about what he cannot do. But we have a rich family life. Our daughter has a Dad who is always at home for her, and I have a soulmate who shares my life and enriches it with his wisdom and love - if not by doing the dishes!

In another scenario and when the pain is bad and the drugs not on top of it, as sometimes happens, it would be easy for him to want a way out. And there have been times like that. But then the meds kick in again, or my daughter's zest for life pulls him out, or I find the strength to be more positive and he sees the bigger picture than just what he cannot do - and I am so glad that there wasn't an easy way out that we'd all regret.


My husband Gerry was diagnosed with myeloma in 2015. Right from the start we knew that it was incurable, and that any treatment was life lengthening, not curative. The consultants told him that they could probably give him six more years.

Treatment for cancer is debilitating and difficult to bear, and sometimes the treatment can seem worse than allowing the disease to progress sooner to its natural conclusion. I believe there should be far more open discussions about whether to prolong life with invasive chemo – about the balance between length of life and quality of life.

A diagnosis of motor neurone disease or any other progressive and incurable disease is also difficult to bear. But I believe that assisted suicide is not the answer. It presents real danger to vulnerable people who are not able to access the support network that Gerry had, surrounded as he was by loving family, friends, and with access to an incredibly supportive GP and palliative care consultant.

I accept that the situation we have at present is far from perfect. But there are other ways to help suffering patients that do not carry the huge dangers of assisted suicide – both for patients and society more widely. I urge politicians not to take us down this path.