Sputnik: Do you think that assisted death should be legalised in the UK for terminally ill patients?
Alyson Thomson: I think absolutely yes. Dignity in Dying campaigns for the legalisation of assisted dying throughout the UK, for people who have a terminal illness, are mentally competent and who are over the age of eighteen.
Sputnik: What would you say to critics of the procedure?
Alyson Thomson: I would ask our opponents to listen to the voices of dying people who tell us that they need this choice, that they are very afraid of suffering at the end of life, our new report out today shows that in Scotland alone eleven dying Scots a week will suffer, even if they had access to the very best palliative care as they die.
Palliative care is fantastic, we campaign for more investment in palliative care and better palliative care; but we recognise that it has its limits and for those patients who have reached those limits, they need the choice of a compassionate and safe assisted death.
Sputnik: Do you think that assisted dying will be legalised in the UK any time soon?
Alyson Thomson: I think you can look and see that we are on a journey towards more and personalised care, where patients really have a far greater say in decisions about their own healthcare than they used to.
I think it definitely is a journey, we know of a lot of doctors and medical professionals who would very much favour the option of being able to offer assisted dying, our report today shows that only six percent of the public think that the current law works, and palliative care specialists who have been interviewed and polled as part of the report are definitely telling us that the status quo isn’t good enough.
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.