Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
7 January 2017, 16:29
David has a serious spinal injury. Here he gives his heart-wrenching case for legalising assisted suicide to Maajid Nawaz.
Maajid Nawaz was discussing the topic of assisted dying on his Saturday show when David phoned in to tell his story.
David was in a serious accident nine years ago, and subsequently suffered a spinal injury which has left him in constant excruciating pain.
Currently David can walk about 20 metres, but he told Maajid that within the next five years he will be left house-bound and will seek to take his own life.
He said: “When that point comes, I’ve already said to my family and my children, at that point I have no quality of life. Why am I here? What is the point?
“And what annoys me on this entire issue is…if the hospital treated your dog the way they treat us as human beings, you’d be arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.
“But it is perfectly alright for our hospitals to insist to keep us alive till the last possible breath, which is insane.”
David went on to recount a recent experience where he had to walk 200 metres, and it left him bed-bound for three days.
David said: “If I take my own life, I’m stigmatised. I am looked down upon. I am looked at as someone who committed suicide…and if your family do it for you after you’re immobile, they will be charged with murder.”
He went on: “I’ve been smart enough to hoard away over the nine years, you know, enough pills or whatever that I can do it whenever I want.
“That’s the current system, so nobody can help me…I won’t hang around in this much pain.”
David went on to describe the pain he is in every day: “Imagine having a sharp, stabbing, continuous pain, non-stop pain in your neck that no pain-killer will touch, no matter how strong.”
David said he takes 60mg of codine every four hours. He added: “I live with that from the moment I get up until the minute I go to bed. Imagine taking eight pills every single night, just so you can be put into a chemically-induced sleep, because the pain won’t allow you to sleep.”
David continued: “Is it too much to ask to have a pain-free day? Just one.”