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Robert Rankin's story

I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) on 19 November 2015. I don't want to see this disease through to its horrific conclusion. I have attached a photo of me wearing a tee-shirt, which I may have to wear permanently. I have also attached a photo of 'special needs' for MND patients. I would rather be dead than tolerate the majority of these scenarios. 'Mobility and transfers' - Who in their right mind can endure, or be expected to endure, any of this?

I am 70 years old. I was a competent classical guitarist and swimmer. I could speak and be understood. I have lost the dexterity and strength in my left hand which allowed me to play numerous pieces, mostly by Bach.

"What used to be an enjoyable pastime is now frustrating and soul destroying."

I could swim for an hour doing laps. On 10 January, 2014, I rescued my wife from a rip at Christies Beach in South Australia. When I went to the pool on 11 August, 2016 I only just managed to swim 25 metres freestyle with fins! Lifting my left arm out of the water is barely possible. My speech is slurred and I have to make a conscious effort to speak and be understood, especially when shopping, but even when talking to my wife and our children.

Without 'assisted dying,' people like me who wish to 'end it all' one day with suicide, are at risk of ending up in a more serious situation should the attempted suicide fail. Frankly, I am just existing and each day is consumed with muscle twitching, trying to spit viscous tenacious saliva from my mouth and trying to clear mucous from my chest.

"Things will only get worse!"

Why do people think you are insane when you are contemplating suicide? How many people are in my situation?

Robert Rankin, May 2016

Note: Robert passed away late October 2016.


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