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'Why I will never give my support to euthanasiaa'.

Byline: By Paul Maunder South Wales Echo

A father of three who considered euthanasia while battling cancer has joined a fight against a Bill allowing terminally-ill adults to ask doctors to help them to die.

David Williams, 51, has backed a campaign against the proposals spearheaded by pressure group Care Not Killing before peers vote on a Private Members' Bill in Parliament on Friday.

Mr Williams, from St Fagans Road, Fairwater, has defied doctors' predictions that he would be dead by 40, after he was diagnosed with a tumour on his spine, 16 years ago.

The former service manager for car dealership Lex Retail Group said it was not the 'excruciating pain' he suffered, which led him to contemplate euthanasia, but the effects his suffering was having on his family.

But following the tragic death of his wife Lynne, 50, who died just four months after being diagnosed with liver cancer, he said he is glad he is around for his children Jodi, 26, Jamie, 22, and Zac, 15.

He said: 'My wife needn't have worked although she opened a Feng Shui shop in Canton in the last two years of her life.

'I had a good job, my wife brought up our children and we didn't need for anything.

'But when I was 32, I had excruciating pain in my spine, which made my left leg flop - it affected my nervous system.

'Two years later, I had an operation where the surgeons took most of the tumour away but they said to me I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 37 and dead by 40.

'I did consider euthanasia.

'But I changed my mind when I saw my son in his cot, and I thought 'I'm not leaving my family behind'.

'Now, I'm glad that I'm around to support the children and because of the quality of life, albeit I'm in a wheelchair.'

Mr Williams went into remission but the tumour returned four years ago, leading to further surgery to remove it again.

Although now in a wheelchair and the tumour could still return, Mr Williams is in remission.

He said he was against the proposals because it could have an impact on palliative care, which was crucial in helping alleviate his illness.

'What I deeply worry about is if this law is passed, it could be used for the wrong reasons like personal gain, leading to families putting pressure on a patient,' he said.

'If this Bill goes ahead what will happen to palliative care?

'If the Government need pounds 20m for doctor-assisted suicides, where is this money coming from?

'I think it will damage palliative care in this country.'

On Friday, the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill is due to be given its second reading at the House of Lords.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 9, 2006
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