Before we say goodbye

Helping my mother to die by Sean Davison (Penguin) ISBN 978-0-14-353056-5


Dr Pat Ferguson, eighty four years old and terminally ill with cancer, wants nothing more than for her joyless life to be over.


When her ailing body refuses to go she asks her son, Sean to do the unthinkable thing and that is to help her die. Sean is based at the University in Cape Town and makes the decision to leave South Africa behind while he visits his mother in New Zealand.


Written as a diary it candidly recounts Davison’s emotional struggle at that time. Sean is married to Raine and they have two young boys. He longs to be home with his family and familiar daily life as a Professor of Biotechnology where he heads the DNA Forensics Lab. He has initiated a project to prove the innocence of people wrongfully convicted of crimes by using DNA testing at the time of their conviction. Is it strange that such a man, who shows compassion daily in his job, should be the son who has the sympathy and guts to help his near death mother?


This is very thought provoking book. It shows how life goes on every day in spite of pain and lingering illness. Written in an easy way to read and understand. But oh my God, what a brave decision.


Dee Andrew


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