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The Mirror in London printed this article by Dr Irwin on 19 August 2013:
Euthanasia: The right to die should be a matter of personal choice

Retired GP Michael Irwin is patron of the British Humanist Association and coordinator of the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide (SOARS)
We are able to choose all kinds of things in life from who we marry to what kind of work we do and I think when one comes to the end of one’s life, whether you have a terminal illness or whether you’re elderly, you should have a choice about what happens to you.
There are so many people getting early dementia and if they are mentally competent they should be allowed to decide if they want to stay alive as their dementia develops or take assisted suicide.
I’m 82 and if I get diagnosed with dementia I will be on the next plane to Switzerland.
I wouldn’t want to see myself deteriorating and be completely unaware of my surroundings.
I don’t want the burden to be placed on my family.
The fact that the NHS [UK National Health Service] is now focusing more and more on early diagnosis of dementia would give options for early doctor-assisted suicide – which is an excellent option for people to have.
When you have a medical condition like dementia, which is incurable, the choice of seeing yourself deteriorate or have a quick exit is something you should be able to make.
I have made a living will where I stipulate that if I develop any condition which renders me mentally incompetent for more than two weeks then I do not want to be kept alive.
I’m pro life – I want to live as long as I possibly can, but l also believe the law should be changed to let anyone with some severe medical condition which is causing unbearable symptoms to have an assisted suicide. I wouldn’t want to be unnecessarily kept alive against my own will.

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