I lost both of my parents to terminal cancer. My Dad died in 1993 nursed at home by my mother and he had no wish to use euthanasia to end his life. He died peacefully with my Mum by his side and my brother and I in attendance.
In 2012 my dear Mum lost her life to terminal cancer. She died in terrible pain also at home where myself and my brother and sister in law nursed her. Her last three or four days were terrible and she wanted her life over. She pleaded with palliative care nurses and doctors and medics from the SA ambulance service to end her life and put her out of the misery she was enduring. Her body was breaking down and her inability to cope with the pain was hard to endure both for her and her family watching on. She was ready to die and to join Dad somewhere in the great beyond. We are not religious people but I believe that she knew Dad was waiting for her.
We are not talking of assisted suicide here but helping someone die with dignity and pain free. We were not able to even touch Mum without her crying out in pain in the last 2 to 3 days of her life. How can one comfort a person without being able to put an arm around them and reassure. Only in the last hours of her life did she appear to be pain free. The dying process was difficult and traumatic and thankfully she did not appear to know how she was dying. She would have been upset and angry that she had to die this way. She was in favour of voluntary euthanasia and I promised I would help to keep up the fight for it.
Voluntary euthanasia should be available for those who are in the final days of life with no hope and in great pain. I hope that one day we can treat our humans and family with the same dignity that we allow our animals.
Deborah Raphael, January 2017