Dear readers,and supporters of assisted voluntary death (AVD)
I am the president of the Swiss organisation lifecircle, fighting for the right to die in all countries. I have been working in palliative care for twenty years. For twelve years I have been working for both palliative care and assisted dying.
Life is wonderful, but it can become dreadful in case of incurable illness. Some illnesses are terminal such as cancer. Others are more cruel than cancer, such as Dementia, as they lead to unbearable suffering not only for the person concerned, but also for the family members and friends. Dementia does not kill for decades! One member said: “Dementia is the cancer of the soul, and this cancer will make you suffer for decades”. He is so right!
The worst thing about Dementia is that we will have more and more people in the future who have seen a relative or a friend die with this illness. For so many this is a dreadful experience. This is why more and more people will say: “I will never go through this, nor my family and friends”.
As long as I am of sound mind I will be able to choose AVD in Switzerland, which makes me live a much more quiet and peaceful. But my own biggest fear is to lose mental capacity. I do not want to go on living in this case. I myself will not let others care for me when my personality has changed into unconsciousness and I am no longer Erika. In case of Dementia I want to have the right to end my life in peace as long as I can take responsibility for my decision and my life. Let’s make AVD be legal also for non-terminal illnesses!
Please let us go on fighting for AVD all over the world, we all have the right to die the moment and the way we desire. Even in Switzerland it is difficult to have an AVD, officials are trying to stop people from making use of the most important human right, to end one’s life in peace in one’s own free will. We all will not give up until everyone has the right to die in dignity.
Dr. med. Erika Preisig
General practitioner and
President of the Foundation