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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 05:57 GMT 06:57 UK
'There is still so much to do'
By Mandy Paine

As the Lords debate a Bill which supports physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill, 44-year-old Mandy Paine, who is seriously ill, explains why she opposes the proposal.

It's 18 years since I was diagnosed with the lung condition chronic Obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Mandy Paine
'You have to stay positive'

I have been told I have end stage disease - which means I'm terminally ill, although I prefer to call it a life-limiting disease.

After all we all start dying from the moment we are born - we just go a different speeds.

I am on oxygen 24 hours a day which is fed through a nasal tube.

At the last count, there are 32 different drugs which keep me alive - it seems that for every drug you take you need two others to control the side-effects.

I am on two types of morphine to control the pain in my lungs when I breathe. The pain is a bit like having a rat gnawing on my lungs.

The pain is a bit like having a rat gnawing on my lungs.

I also have angina, gout, osteoarthritis, and many allergies. Nonetheless, I feel that life is worth living.

At the end of the day life is what you make it. It's not easy, but you have to stay positive.

And if you stay positive then your life extends. I was told I wouldn't live till I was 30 but I have.

'I must carry on'

I've lost count of the number of times I've been taken into intensive care.

I know that I must carry on, especially for the sake of my two wonderful sons Craig and Daniel.

Friendship is also very important. I met a wonderful friend called David who has terminal liver cancer through the Help the Hospices movement.

He's my soul mate, a buddy, and we help keep each other positive.

'No right to take a life'

I am opposed to the bill on Assisted Dying for many reasons.

First there is the risk of it being abused.

Then there's the pressure it would put on other people to help kill you.

It's written in the Ten Commandments, "thou shalt not kill" and you've no right to take another person's life.

Then there's always new medical research. Look at stem cells. Someone you love might kill themselves and then the next day you read there's a cure and how would you feel then?

I do get depressed. I call them my black dog days and I'm at the bottom.

Then I think I have a mum and dad and children and I know I must carry on. There's so many things I still want to do. I have a wish list.

My son Daniel composes and plays the piano and we both enjoy musicals.

I've been to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but I'd love to see Mary Poppins.

There's still so much to do.



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