Watch terminally ill suffer before commenting on euthanasia

I am very glad that, as a young woman, Ms Rachel Tan Poh Yin has never experienced the misery of a terminal illness (Euthanasia is just glorified suicide; Aug 15) and I hope and pray she never does.

I recently watched a dear friend die of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

She'd spent her life working as a human rights lawyer, and was the toughest person I knew.

This didn't stop her slowly suffocating as the disease progressed.

The coughing and choking fits she suffered were terrifying, rather like drowning, but without the blessing of a death at the end.

She desperately wanted assisted suicide but, living in Australia, she could not.

As a civilised society we should be ashamed of this. Dogs and cats are treated better; when they suffer from a terminal illness they can be put down.

Clearly, assisted suicide or euthanasia would need to be very carefully regulated to prevent abuses or improper use.

But if anyone wants to condemn it outright, I suggest they watch their friends or family members suffer the pain of a terminal illness first.

Daniel Emlyn-Jones (Dr)