Other ways to die with dignity

 

Sir, – Regarding the Dying with Dignity Bill; as a bereaved daughter, I know that my parents, who both had rare cancers, died with dignity, I was there.

They died peacefully, naturally and comfortably while receiving wonderful medical and nursing care. I am concerned at defining in Irish law, as the proposed Bill suggests, that a death with dignity is a death that occurs after physician has hastened death or physician provided euthanasia.

This demeans natural dying in my opinion and is a negative message to persons with life-threatening illnesses and to those of us who have been, are, or will be, family or informal caregivers.

As a mother of a daughter with an extremely rare serious illness that has been life threatening in the past but thankfully is not currently, I am concerned about the possible risks to persons with rare diseases with complex disease courses.

The Irish Tilda study showed the “wish to die” in older persons is frequently temporary and emphasised the link between loneliness and undiagnosed mental health issues.

We must continue to provide and advance compassionate, science-informed care for persons with advanced progressive, terminal illnesses but this proposed Bill is not the way.

– Yours, etc,

Dr MIRIAM COLLERAN,

Naas,

Co Kildare.