...to my boys, my partner, my brothers.
Promise me this: if I go dotty, if I cannot live with dignity, if I cannot live independently, please have me put down!
I could not bear to be no more than a living shell, useless even as company let alone as a contributing member of society. Unable to talk or communicate because the meaning of words is lost would offend my degenerating me.
Evaporating personal hygiene, worse than the most recalcitrant toddler, would be an unbearable affront.
I'm not interested in the 'sanctity of life'. I'm more interested in the 'sanctity of a dignified life'. 'Sanctity of life' is for societies with too much money and time on their hands. Money for research to prolong my agony, but not enough respect to let me go. Too much time to nitpick over definitions, or bow to fanatical lobbies representing nutters who don't represent me.
Please keep God out of it. He won't save my dignity when I'm incontinent and a burden to my loved ones. He won't rescue me from the mental torture of a slow degeneration. He won't be there to care for me when my loved ones can't take any more.
Life is for the living, not the living dead. If I become a living dead, I'd rather just be dead. I'd rather be remembered with joy and affection, respect and admiration, than despised for hanging on too long, ruining the lives of those I love.
Take me to Switzerland and have me die with dignity, on my own terms, in my own time - my choice. I don't want someone unknown medical ethics committee deciding whether I should drag out my life against my will. Before I get too far gone, I should be able to make that decision myself. I should not be penalised, criminalised, criticised. Nor should the one who takes me.
Hopefully, by the time this becomes an issue, European governments will have got off the fence and faced up to reality. The reality of having vast numbers of dotty folk demanding ever more by way of resources should do much to concentrate governmental health service minds.
This would be my message to the Powers that Be: Get out of the way, and let me go.