Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Should Have Same Right to Die as This Woman; STATESIDE with US Editor Christopher Bucktin Follow Him on Twitter @Chrisbucktin Cody Curtis Ended Her Suffering in One of Three US States Where Assisted Suicide Is Legal. It's Time Britain Passed Similar Laws

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Should Have Same Right to Die as This Woman; STATESIDE with US Editor Christopher Bucktin Follow Him on Twitter @Chrisbucktin Cody Curtis Ended Her Suffering in One of Three US States Where Assisted Suicide Is Legal. It's Time Britain Passed Similar Laws

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Bucktin

IT was with a heavy heart viewers said their final farewells to Coronation Street's Hayley Cropper after the cancer-stricken cafe owner decided to take her own life.

Julie Hesmondhalgh's moving portrayal of her character's battle against the cruel disease highlighted the harsh reality faced by thousands of sufferers each year.

Although Hayley eventually opted for suicide and husband Roy played no part in helping her die, the storyline inevitably brought the debate of assisted suicide to the forefront in the UK, pitting public opinion against that of the Church and medical professionals.

It was previously a subject I'd rarely considered despite losing several loved ones to cancer.

Having seen loved ones go through untold suffering after all medical intervention has been stopped, as it currently stands in Britain, we as friends or relatives are left to watch as their lives just slowly ebb away.

Too often those dark final days overshadow the years of enjoyment we have shared with each other. Yet unlike in Britain, here in America, three States - Oregon, Washington and Vermont - allow those with a terminal illness with less than six months to live the right to be given help by their relatives, friends and doctors to end their lives at a time of their choosing.

After meeting one of those who watched their loved ones choose to "die with dignity", I firmly believe each and every one of us should be given the same choice in Britain.

I understand not all will agree with my feelings. In fact I am sure some of you will be outraged.

But after spending time with widower Stan Curtis, I would defy anyone not to reason with his, or more importantly his late wife''s, belief.

For two years he watched helplessly as his wife Cody suffered cholangiocarcinoma cancer.

The debilitating disease, one of the most aggressive which attacks the bile duct, left the mum-of-two's quality of life all but gone.

For her family and friends it was unbearable to watch yet it was Cody, supported by her family, who chose to end her life.

In December 2009, 12 years after Oregon introduced its Death with Dignity Act and surrounded by her loved ones at her home, she drank a cocktail of legally prescribed drugs to end her life. …

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