The right to die.
I'm against legalising drugs, on the fence about abortion (when I was younger I was totally pro-choice, but as I got older my views have changed slightly, I still consider myself pro-choice, however I despair at the numbers and casual attitude to it)
But I am down right enthusiastic about the right to die.
I figure if an adult, mentally sound, but terminally ill person decides they don't want to live anymore then their decision should be respected.They should be allowed to end their life with as much dignity as possible.
My mother -on the other hand- thinks this is quite possibly the stupidest line of thought I have ever engaged in and thus far this morning we have rowed about it twice. (she's here, we're going into town to look for curtains)
It's not something I usually give a lot of thought to and doubtless we are going to bandy it about furiously this morning as we scope fabric, but I'd like to hear what you think.
From today's UK independent.
"A 30-year-old woman who is terminally ill has launched a campaign to overturn Britain's euthanasia laws by compelling her doctors to increase her dose of morphine and let her die.
Kelly Taylor lives in constant pain with a congenital heart defect and a spinal disorder. She says she has struggled with her condition all her life and wants release. She has been told she has a year to live but doctors have been unable to control her pain.
"Enough is enough," she said yesterday. "I don't want to suffer any more. I'm not depressed - I've never been depressed. I am a happy person. But my illness is now at the point where I don't want to deal with it any more."
Her case is believed to be unique in launching a double-pronged challenge to the law that forbids doctors from helping patients to end their lives. She wants the court to rule that doctors may sedate her and then withdraw tube feeding so that she dies.
The only treatment for Mrs Taylor's Eisenmenger's syndrome, which leaves her short of breath, is a heart and lung transplant, but she has become too frail for the operation. Her spinal condition, Klippel-Feil syndrome, restricts her mobility.
Last December, Mrs Taylor, who is looked after at home in Bristol by her husband, Richard, asked her doctors to increase her dose of morphine sharply. She had been receiving monthly prescriptions of the drug, to induce a deep, coma-like state of sedation, so that she no longer felt pain. She also made a living will asking doctors not to feed or hydrate her artificially.
Her doctors - a cardiologist, palliative care consultant and GP from Bristol Royal Infirmary and St Peter's Hospice - refused her request, saying that it amounted to euthanasia.
Mrs Taylor said: "My consultant has told me that he does not expect me to live for another year. In that time I will deteriorate and that deterioration will become quite undignified. I want to avoid that."
Last July, she attempted to starve herself to death but abandoned her effort after 19 days. She also considered going to the Swiss assisted suicide clinic, Dignitas, which has helped more than 60 British patients die. But she disliked the idea of relatives having to face police investigations.
"I don't want to die in a foreign country, I want to die at home. While I have respect for people who go over there, it shouldn't be necessary. We should have a law over here," she said.
Her lawyers, Leigh Day and Co, say her doctors have a duty to provide her with adequate pain control even where it shortens her life. The case is expected to focus on whether increasing the morphine dose can be justified in this way or whether it amounts to an assisted death.
A consultant in palliative care said "terminal sedation" was carried out but only when death was imminent - within a week or two. "This girl is up and about. She may have a terminal diagnosis in the sense that she is not expected to recover but she is not dying. I would find it very difficult to say this was about symptom control."
A judge yesterday ordered a full hearing into the case next month."
This woman is going to die, she is in constant pain, she has lived with this pain for a number of years. Doesn't she have the right to say stop. Does she have the right to demand an end her suffering?
We see it with cancer patients all the time. Anyone who has ever lost a relative to cancer knows that in the final days it is the morphine that finally takes them. This woman does not want to worsen. She wants to die now, while she still has some final quality of life.
So the question is, does she have the right to insist on her own death through medical means in her own country?