Hear from Someone Who’s Watched a Loved One Die
I do not support the End of Life Bill because excellent palliative care and medicinal advances ensure that the vast majority of people are comfortable until death.
Dying people have physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs that require families and carers to be sympathetic and supportive to. This takes time and is a process that can heal past hurts and reconcile relationships. It is not compassionate to just end someone's life when suffering occurs.
I have been alongside my father and father-in-law day and night for the week before they each died. They had a natural death, although both had suffered from cancer. Some years afterwards I listened to a doctor give a talk on natural death and what I had questions about, she answered. She stated that 2 people can witness the same death process and one can say it was atrocious and the other that it was natural. This happens because people do not talk openly about death and so don't know the usual aspects of a natural death.
E.g. the death 'rattle' sounds dreadful but is only a build up of liquid and is not painful.
I don't believe it is good for society to have an opting out of life option because our most vulnerable people would be at risk. Dementia patients, depressed people, handicapped and even teenagers going through a rough patch might resort to requesting assisted suicide or euthanasia because of their suffering. In Oregon 40% of people who asked for assisted suicide cite 'being a burden' as a reason for their request. This is mightily sad. We all need to be supporting people in our community with intense needs not removing them. A few very hard cases are not sufficient reason to change our laws. Birth and life are not completely controlled and painless, so why would we expect that death should be.