Letters - July 13, 2019

See letter on assisted dying from Karl Sheridan
See letter on assisted dying from Karl Sheridan
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Terminally ill should have a right to die

The Parliamentary debate on assisted dying appeared to have achieved little to amend the existing outdated laws where it is likely that those assisting their close relatives to die prematurely are prosecuted.

Hopefully there may be a public consultation on this sensitive matter that not only looks at the pressure on relatives placed in that situation, but also looks at the needs and wishes of those who themselves are terminally-ill.

My wife of 43 years was diagnosed with terminal cancer just before Christmas – an aggressive form that had contaminated her pancreas and liver. We were told she only had months to live; if that.

The beginning of the new year brought us chemotherapy to ‘‘help give her a better quality of life’’ for those remaining months.

Subsequently a stent fitted by the oncology department became infected, resulting in further stays in hospital. Then her liver began to fail and another stent was added and again that became infected, resulting in abdominal drains being fitted. For the next four-and-a-half months my dear wife endured sheer hell with visits in and out of hospital, pain, discomfort and finally the loss of her dignity with me having to attend to her every need.

The hospital, in all fairness, tried to improve her remaining months, but in actual fact gave her five months of sheer hell; admittedly interspaced with the odd week of tolerable health now and again that raised our hopes, only to have them dashed as the crippling cancer fought back ferociously.

During those months she three times begged and implored me to end the misery she was going through, and of course I couldn’t; but my God, how tempted was I to grant her wish. To see the one I loved lying there suffering was heart-breaking – and that is an understatement, to say the least. And yet my hands were tied and I could do nothing, because I knew I would be hauled over the coals in a law court. My beloved Ann said one day that if euthanasia was legalised, then she would fight to be the first in the queue.

I firmly believe that we need the legislation amending now and that we need a Dignitas right here in the UK. I also I know that I speak for thousands of people who have been, and indeed who are, in the same boat. The terminally-ill should have the basic human right to end their suffering in a dignified and painless way if they so wish.

Karl Sheridan

Address supplied

Media

Would Lineker really be missed?

ITV presenter Piers Morgan defends the £1.75m salary paid to Gary Lineker by the BBC, saying that he could get much more on other channels.

Now that may well be the case, but would he really be missed at the BBC? How many people watch Match of the Day because Mr Lineker is presenting the programme? Very few, I suspect. Most watch for the football and aren’t really bothered who fronts the programme.

Bob Watson

via email

Tennis

BBC serves up too much Wimbledon

There is excessive coverage of Wimbledon by the BBC on their two main channels.

At the time of writing this, I see there are another 48 hours (minimum) to endure on BBC2 this week, including pundits discussing the aftermath.

Last Saturday, the Women’s World Cup over-ran, so did Wimbledon, causing Pointless and Casualty to fall off the schedules.

This, at a time when the licence fee is being widely questioned, does nothing to endear the BBC to anyone apart from avid tennis fans, not that the corporation, an unwieldy monolith, gives two hoots about viewers’ opinions, as evidenced by their dismissive replies on Points of View to any criticism.

Susan Towle

Address supplied

Tennis

Watching a pair of grunters is so boring

Why on earth the over-rated BBC thinks everyone likes to watch a pair of grunters bash a ball backwards and forwards over a net for hours on end, I just cannot imagine.

To me, tennis is more than boring and, to replace programmes that I do like, makes it an even worse decision. Those who make the decisions at the BBC are overpaid and over-rated in my opinion.

Peter Hyde

via email