Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the Day

Tired of pain and struggle

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Re: Must a life be preserved? (Editorials, June 23). I am pleased to hear that Gloria Taylor, the woman suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, has attained the right of self-determination to end her life in a dignified, peaceful manner under a doctor's supervision.

It is a defeat for the so-called moral crusaders who wish to curtail a basic human right by spreading lies about slippery slopes and wanton killing of elderly people. If you examine the Dignitas model followed in Switzerland, you will see that it is the best for preventing abuse and should be looked at to be implemented into Canadian law.

I believe the right to assisted suicide needs to be expanded to people who have suffered long-term mental illness. For over 20 years I have suffered from severe depression and anxiety, which have laid waste to every aspect of my life. I have never had a job, never had a girlfriend, I have no friends and I still live with my parents.

My quality of life has been severely diminished, and each day is one of monotony and sadness. Medication and group therapy are of little benefit now. I am tired of the pain, tired of the struggle, and strongly believe I should have the right to assisted suicide by peaceful means instead of having to resort to dangerous methods that are terrifying to contemplate and may end up failing and causing more pain.

Some people, including professionals, will quickly brush me off and label me delusional and irrational because of my mental illness. This is a great insult, for I am an autonomous thinking being who has thought long and hard about my situation. I am more than my illness.

Who controls our lives? Who decides how much pain and lack of dignity someone suffering from a prolonged illness, whether it be physical or mental, must endure?

GARY STIMPSON

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 26, 2012 A11

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