Written 6th September, 2015. For more information on why assisted suicide is not a good thing, please visit Care Not Killing, an organisation campaigning for better palliative care and resistance to assisted suicide laws.

Dear Editor,

In regard to your September 5th editorial on Assisted Dying, I found this sentence particularly telling:”Many see a man with locked-in syndrome and see a man who should be helped to die.”

Many do indeed assume that some classes of people should be helped to die instead of to live. The reality that studies have consistently shown that people with locked-in syndrome do not want to die means nothing to someone who sees someone sick, dying, paralysed or disabled and just sees someone “who should be helped to die”.

However you look at it, visible disability or suffering leads people to wish others dead. I don’t want a society where their feelings prevail over the wishes of the vulnerable and the dependent. Helping someone to end their own lives on compassionate grounds was decriminalised in 2010, so we do not need a institutionalised system whereby people are subtly put under pressure to not be a burden to their families and swallow the pills. or worse, not even being given the choice at all.


Sarah McCulloch


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Dear sir/madam,

I am writing this letter to you from my grandmother’s bedside, where she is dying. I was not able to see her before she lost consciousness, due to the actions of one of your employees.

Having been summoned from Hull at 9am on the 8th August, 2012, to see my grandmother before she passed away, I had made it down to Clapham Junction by about 4pm. I therefore needed to catch the 4:12pm train to Winchester. I saw on the announcement boards that the last five cars were for Winchester. However, when the train pulled up, I was somewhat confused as to why the last five car doors were all shut (and the little lights on the open/close buttons were off) and everyone wishing to get on the train was hurrying up to the first half. Not wanting to get sent to Weymouth (because of the urgency of my situation), I therefore asked the nearest employee which bit of the train to get on. This man was about average height, relatively overweight, with short, perhaps sandy, hair. He appears to have been the driver of the last five cars, and was standing outside one of the carriages.

Upon asking this man, “Is this part the bit for Winchester?”, he glanced at me briefly, muttered, “yeh”, and then turned away. Seriously confused as to why no-one appeared to be getting on or off to go to any of the five places this half of the train was supposed to be going to, I said again, “this bit?”, and then gesticulated at the rear part of the train. The man made a quiet monosyllable that in hindsight was presumably some version of “yes”, and then got into the train. He then made a series of actions that, to my non-train driver eye, might have been to split the train apart at this station, why might explain why the doors to the back of the train were closed. But while I was standing there, obviously puzzled (I might as well have had a question mark dangling over my head), and equally obviously wishing to go to Winchester (I was wearing two rucksacks and looking travel-worn),  the man started the engine up, and proceeded to blank me and drive the train away. [click to continue…]

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