It's my life and I'll end it when I want to
Both of my parents died slow, horrible deaths. I won't forget what those two strong, vibrant individuals became in old age and sickness: their fragility, their mental confusion, their physical agony and, above all, their unmitigated emotional distress. There are few things worse than seeing a frail old man or woman screaming and crying in pain and longing for death. I recall one day near the end when my father, who had cancer, asked me for his morphine tablets. I knew what he wanted to do with them and if I'd had them I would have given them to him so he could have peace at last. But my mother had hidden them and was administering them strictly according to the doctor's instructions. Fourteen years after he died, I gave up my job to care for my mother for the last 18 months of her life and entered what was a living hell for both of us. Three years after her death, I barely remember the proper mother I had known and loved but the bed-ridden, irrational, incontinent tyrant she became