"The option of assisted dying can allow people the chance to live for longer"

I am at ease with the idea of being able to seek help in dying if I am terminally ill and/or in uncontrollable pain, and making the request voluntarily, in a sustained way over time, and if I am competent to make decisions for myself. This seems to me a profound human right. I have had no religious beliefs all my adult life and find it patronising when others, because of their religious beliefs, wish to deny me this choice.

If someone does not wish assistance in dying, for religious or any other reasons, then they should not ask for assistance in dying. I entirely respect that person's right to make that choice and good care should be made available to them. I would request such a person to please do me the courtesy of respecting my right to make my choice.

The number of people who will request help in dying in the circumstances this Bill addresses is likely to be very small. However, it will be an important right. In places where assisted dying is legal, people who register for help of this kind often do not find it necessary to activate their request, as their worst fears do not happen and they die naturally.

Many people who travel to Switzerland for assistance in dying do so before they wish to as they are worried about not being able to manage the journey later. Paradoxically, having the option of assisted dying can allow people the chance to live for longer, with less anxiety and greater confidence in retaining some control. A great kindness.

I sincerely wish for this Bill to go through successfully, so that the small but important group of people who find themselves in highly distressing situations with no hope of improvement can have their wishes better addressed.

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