This evening I watched the Dimbleby Lectures and I found myself deeply moved by the speech written by Terry Pratchett and delivered by his friend Tony Robinson. The speech dealt with the subject of Assisted Death and reinforced for me a long held belief that should the time come that I am no longer able to live my life the way I want to because of a disease or an injury then I want to be able to choose when my life should end... after all it is my life, it was given to me to live and it should be my choice when it is no longer palatable to continue being.

I am fortunate, I am relative healthy, the odd ache and pain but at present there is no shadow blocking out the sun for me but some day there might be and I want the right to decide when to turn out the lights. I want to be able to choose when to do it, how to do and who is present when I do it and if I am no longer able to do it myself I want to be able to choose who to help me do it.

Over the past few months a very brave woman by the name of Kay Gilderdale has had to relive what has to be the hardest time of her life. As a loving mother she took care of a daughter she loved very much and had to watch as her child fell apart in front of her. In the end she had to do the only thing that was left to her to help her child, to help her end her pain and suffering and for this she was accused of murder. I found my stomach turning over in disgust that this prosecution was ever brought.

Could the CPS not see that this woman was already going to suffer every day by having to live with this memory, with the knowledge that her child was gone before herself, by the loss of someone so dearly loved than by any punitive sentence that a Court could ever hand out?

Why do those so anti Assisted Death believe that life is worth holding onto at all costs? Why is it devaluing a life to decide that you no longer want to endure endless pain and suffering? Why should a person be forced to take their life earlier than they actually want to just because if you don't do it whilst you still can then no one will help you do it when you are really ready to go? Who are we trying so hard to protect by making helping someone you love desperately to end an unbearable existence a crime? And why should you be forced to leave your home, your family and your friends at a time when you want them around you the most, to travel to another country to end your life with dignity?

Because I don't understand why it is okay to take my incontinent, paralysed desperately ill cat and show him the depth of my love by ending his life but I couldn't expect that same kindness myself from those I know love me with the same depth of feeling.

I hope that Terry Pratchett's words are really heard, many have spoken on this subject but societal fears have always prevented a sensible open discussion on the topic and there needs to be one, death is not a dirty word, it is the inevitable end to life, it is the other side of that coin. We choose how we live and we need to talk about giving each other the right to choose how we die.