I watched my mother die in October. She had severe Alzheimer’s and an unspecified infection. It was suggested by the medical team treating her that she might be allowed to “slip away” by withdrawing the antibiotics and saline drip. With the Alzheimer’s and also not being able to walk anymore after breaking her hip the previous month, her quality of life was very poor. It would have been her wish not to continue in the state she was in. We were told that she may not respond to antibiotics and may not survive the night. As a family we made the decision that treatment should be withdrawn. But she did not die that night. With a strong heart and lungs she lingered for another 6 days. She was on morphine but this was withdrawn as they said she was not in pain. I did moisten her mouth as she seemed thirsty. The last words she said to me were “Thank you.” They say is didn’t suffer but who really knows what is going on in the mind of someone with severe Alzheimer’s? I have had a while to think about our decision and I can’t help feeling a sense of anger that the onus was put on us as a family to make the choice as to whether my mother lived or died. Let no-one feel that what we did by withdrawing medication is so very different than giving my mother a fatal dose. This year Parliament rejected the bill to allow assisted dying, we are told against the will of the nation. Of course if the bill had been passed it would not have helped my mother as she would have to have been of sound mind to make the decision to end her life. However, if I could make the decision now, whilst I still have my mental capacity, between lingering on and instantly falling asleep I know what I would choose and I know what my mother would have chosen.