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Assisted dying?

I recently watched a very engaging, heart stopping documentary that really made me think of whether legalising assisted deaths in the UK should be allowed. Many of you probably watched How to die- Simon's choice. My main question is, as humans its our life so surely if we want to die that should be allowed, who has more control over our life than ourselves? We know whether we are happy or sad, whether we are enjoying life, how healthy we are. So why should it be in the hands of someone else to decide whether assisted dying should be legalised? Let me know your views.

The programme featured a man called Simon, the heart and soul of a party kind of man, full of life, very active and determined to be successful in his business until he was hit with a deadly disease, motor neurone. He was given two years max to live and throughout the documentary you can see his health deteriorating rapidly until the point he loses his speech and ability to stand. Watching it made me realise how precious life is and how diseases this unexpected can spring up anytime and take hold of those closest around you. It wasn't only Simon suffering, his entire family and friends were metaphorically dying with him, you could see how loved he was and the pain of his wife Debbie having to realise he didn't want to stay alive.

Was he selfish? To leave behind his soul mate, his carer? Two years previous they lost their daughter to cancer. How Debbie is able to still continue with her life and be so strong is admirable, but watching a woman desperately pleading her husband to stay with her was one of the most traumatising things I've ever watched.

Towards the end of the programme it is clear Simon doesn't want to continue with life anymore and wants to set a date to die by going to a clinic in Switzerland. When he arrives he has to be assessed by the people who carry out the lethal anaesthetic. But how are these people able to see if someone is depressed or suicidal? Questions that arose when Debbie was asking how the woman even knew her husband was that terminally ill.

As Simon's health deteriorates further he wants to move the date of his death closer. Can you even imagine booking your own death in advance? Knowing you're going to die? This man once had everything, a successful business, doting grandchildren and a loving family, you can even see the affect it has on the family dog.

The day before his death they arrive in Switzerland, hugging relatives behind at the airport knowing he will never return on the plane home. The heart gripping moment he says goodbye to his daughter was enough for me to not continue watching but I felt out of respect a man that has gone through all of this his story needs to be shared. When they arrive in Switzerland they have one last meal, laughing and joking and its almost impossible to believe this man is ill, he looks content with his doting family, they talk about him as if he's already dead, like he's watching his own funeral, its all very surreal.

The next scenes are of Simon in the clinic, the most upsetting scenes I have ever encountered, a lifeless man lay on a bed surrounded by his family. Before he opens the lethal anaesthetic he plays a recording to his wife that really makes you reconsider those you have around you and how grateful you should be to spend time with them and have them in your life. The camera then focusing on Simon pulling the anaesthetic open and then the screen is black.

One of the most thought provoking documentaries I have ever watched, one that made me appreciate life and not take things or people for granted, one that makes you question whether we do have 'human rights', why should we have to travel abroad to die somewhere with no relevance to us when we could be in the loving arms of our family members at home.

So many things to consider when watching this documentary, its seriously worth the watch. Let me know your views.

                                                                            Nutella x

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