Sir Michael Cullen: Please allow all of us to make our choice

Please allow all of us to make our choice

In February this year I was unexpectedly diagnosed with Stage IV small cell lung cancer with secondary cancer in the liver. Since then I have had four rounds of chemotherapy and have responded well to treatment. But the fact remains I have a terminal disease.

Death is a matter of how soon, not how long. That focussed my mind more on the upcoming referendum on the right to choose how to end one’s life when you have a terminal disease.

If the referendum passes, the right to choose will probably come into effect too late for me. But for the many others who will come after me I would want to think that they can have such a right: the right to die with dignity, in reasonable control of their faculties, and without unnecessary pain (and not just leading a shadow life under near complete sedation to stop that pain).

I respect the views of those who believe the right to choose is not consistent with their beliefs. I just ask that my views and the views of the many others who share mine be respected.

Please choose to allow all of us to make our choice in this matter and have the comfort of knowing that we have that right if we wish to exercise it.

Sir Michael Cullen