People often say to me 'I am living!' Yes, we are all breathing, waking up in the morning and going to work and doing our best to get by. Yet, I wonder how many of us are merely existing. There is a vast difference between the two. Whilst this is something I have often pondered on (especially since the sudden passing of my mother), this film really brought it home to me.
The Assisted Dying Bill is a significant step backwards. When we strip away its euphemisms it is a law to help people who are frightened of pain or disability to achieve a quicker end to their life, with the support of a doctor. It undermines our respect for human life, encourages a disrespectful attitude to people with disabilities and fundamentally changes the role of the doctor.
On Friday 11 September, MPs will be voting on a bill. A bill which has had little media attention. A bill which has been introduced by a relatively unknown Labour MP - Rob Marris. And yet a bill which, if passed, will have profound implications for people up and down the country. It is a bill dealing with matters of life and death.
I will never regret that our law protected her; preventing her from ending her life when she was vulnerable to despair. Those four years we shared were the most precious gift. Without them, Mum would have missed what she described as some of the richest times in her life and we would have missed understanding just what an amazing person she was.
Securing a positive future for all sick and disabled people will not come from dirty politics and cheap headlines, but rather it will come from putting our differences aside and digging deep to reveal and challenge the prejudices against us, even those from within, that have existed since we were living in caves. Only by doing this will the issues of welfare and assisting dying be framed in a new and positive way.
Please before you pass judgement on anyone's quality of life, stop and think. Don't just claim "I couldn't cope", as I really think you could. Pain, like many other trials in life, can be beaten. It can be medically treated and psychologically mastered, with help, and so we need to have a sensible debate on quality of life before we go any further down a road that may be very hard to come back from.
The Assisted Dying Bill is long overdue because we can't keep forcing people to die in pain and misery against their will, or pressuring the terminally ill into committing gruesome acts of suicide as a last resort. We must realise that the right to life includes the right for individuals to make an informed decision to die in the way that they perceive to be the most dignified.