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"What if I had done it?" Vicki Walsh speaks to Patrick Gower about assisted suicide

Journalist Patrick Gower spoke to cancer patient Vicki Walsh about living with a terminal illness and facing the prospect saying goodbye to her family and friends.

In 2011, Walsh was told she had only 14 months left to live. However, now aged 53, Walsh has had nine more years of life since. She says that might not have happened if the choice of assisted dying had been available because she would've taken it.

"Obviously euthanasia wasn't an option, but I had a go at killing myself. So had euthanasia been an option then, it is probably one I would have taken, not realising I was actually depressed," she told Newshub.

Up until then, she had always believed people should have the choice of assisted dying, saying it was, "My body, my choice". But after her suicide attempt, her views changed. "Do you know what, I woke up the next day and I had the best day. I kept thinking, 'What if you'd done it?'"

She's now against giving people the choice for assisted dying because there is so much room to get it wrong.

"I possibly would have felt pressured into doing it. Because I wouldn't have had those few quiet moments on my own."

Under the Act, candidates for assisted suicide must have a prognosis of no longer than six months left to live.

However as Gower revealed at the end of the episode, a study by BMC Medicine shows clinicians make an incorrect prognosis 25% of the time - that's a quarter of all prognosis are incorrect, six months out from death.

See the NewsHub story here


Authorised by Vote No to the End of Life Act, 159 Campbell Street, Karori, Wellington 6012

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