My name is Peter Short and my story is simple. I was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer five years ago and made a full recovery. Or so I thought.
On 28 January 2014, my 57th birthday, I was told it had returned – terminally. At the time of writing, I have a prognosis of five months. I am hoping for a bit more than that, but it is clear I will die within months.
And I will die at the time I select. I respect those who believe it is better to hold on until the very end, whatever suffering that entails. Both paths are dignified. What is undignified is not having the choice.
I have become intimately aware of the debate raging around physician-assisted death and the right for people to choose the timing. Recently, Dr Rodney Syme, in The Age and elsewhere, has declared he has, in contravention to laws that should be changed, helped many terminally ill people end their lives.