Paul Lamb – Why I’m fighting for the right to die


The accident I had was a car crash. It happened July of 1990. And it’s cost me. I’m a C4 tetraplegic,
which basically is very little movement in my limbs and means I have to be sat in a
wheelchair for the rest of my life. I suffer pain all the time. The pain has
gradually got worse over the years but all the pain tablets I take, they’ve all got
different side effects. Unfortunately. Whether it’s pain tablets, whatever
tablets, they all seem to just work on one thing, making you sleepy,
which at times isn’t good, because you can’t think straight, so. I certainly don’t want to end
my life now. I value life. I like to love life, so no, definitely not. But to have
it there when the time is right to me. That’s what I’m chasing, not just for
myself, I believe for thousands of other people that, over the years,
I’ve been talking to. To have assisted death in the UK is
so important to me and, I believe, thousands of people, because it will give
you the right to be able to choose the death in the comfort of your own home
with the people around you that you want around you. The people that you love, and
that they love you. So when I make the decision to end my life when I want,
where I want, it will be probably the biggest peace of mind that I could
possibly wish for. I’ve been in hospitals; I’ve seen people suffering. You, absolutely,
you wouldn’t even watch a dog suffering like it. I think it’s just disgusting that I don’t have
the right to make this decision when I want to. I mean, do they think I’m not
capable? I’ve got a sound mind. So, you know, it’s something that I don’t
take lightly, because I love life, so why on Earth should I want to die? It’s not
something I want to do. But if it becomes necessary in my mind, then to have the
permission and be able to do it in the right way, it means everything to me,
everything. It would take away from myself and I know it would be with a lot of
other people, the worry. The worry about what happens if I get too worse and I’m
not able to do things and then I’m in the hands of professionals, telling me
what I can and I can’t do. I think, you know, that’s a nightmare in itself.
Yeah, it’s very scary. Quality of life is what it’s about and
while you’ve got a quality of life, I think life’s worth fighting for. But when
the scales tip away the quality of life, that’s gone
right out the window. There isn’t any left, and all you’re
faced with it constant 24 hours a day pain. Nobody else knows what pain I’m
going through, only I know what I’m going through. Only the people suffering
know what they’re going through. It just angers me. It angers me that
the minority of people don’t want to change the law – the majority does – so
where do we have to go to get this change? How many more percent do we
need before something will be done? Well, if I can just help with
a teeny-weeny little bit of upping this percentage, that’s what I want
to do. I feel it’s the right thing to do. And I’m actually proud I’m doing it. So for
while ever I’ve got strength, I’ll be fighting this.

8 comments

  1. Like abortion became legal in some countries, this too will be allowed shortly, especially for people who are struggling with ill health and no help love and money. Self esteem and dignity in living is an important component in living.

  2. Paul, you express yourself with such composure and dignity. To be in constant pain is something no one should experience. Not that long ago the State could take a life of a convicted person, but that was abolished, partly on compassion for the family of the condemned person. Yet you and others in serious ill health are denied the ultimate option of a dignified death. How can that be justified in a civilised society? You may wish to contact Dignity in Dying for their support in your campaign, which I sincerely hope will succeed. Meanwhile, you have the companionship of your little dog which is more valuable than rubies. Kindest regards from one of many on your side in this issue.

  3. There should be no fight. No one has the authority to tell you when you can end your own life… Period.

  4. The Right to Die is most basic right of all, I hope he wins and receives the peace he deserves.

  5. The right to end one's own life should be certainly respected. Why prolong the agony ? In name of what ? Even a dog is alleviated of its incurable sufferings by putting it to sleep ! Why that act of compassion is denied to humans ? It makes no sense !

  6. Only Religious people block the right to die. In my country Poland you cant even have a debate on the subject. Hope you will make your request come true. Best of luck.

  7. I see death as a part of life, and if under declaration of human rights, one has right to decide how is going to manage that life, than this subject enters in those rights. I wish that this law comes soon.

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