‘As a doctor, I can’t support it’
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.