Dignity in Dying estimates the average cost of a trip to Dignitas to be around £10,000, which is a substantial amount. Only one third of UK families have that much in savings, so under our current system, with its manifest cruelties, that option is inaccessible to two thirds of the country on financial grounds alone.
This week Jemima’s mother told me:
“I have become increasingly sure that under certain circumstances and with the right safeguards, a person should have the right to choose to end their life in this country. I know Jemima would have been with us for longer if she had been able to take that choice at home.”
Alongside her heartfelt plea for reform, and those of others, there must be two key criteria for any future proposals. First, assisted dying must be made available under certain circumstances, and there must be appropriate safeguards for patients, families, medical professionals and those who need to enforce the law. It is a difficult area, but I hope that Jemima’s story will help build a consensus that will allow us to take this issue forward, and that we will not continue to block future changes to the law.