The author Sir Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2007, and he wants the option of out, at a time of his own choosing before he's incapable of making that choice.
Now, however, I live in hope - hope that before the disease in my brain finally wipes it clean, I can jump before I am pushed and drag my evil Nemesis to its doom, like Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty locked in combat as they go over the waterfall.
'I intend, before the endgame looms, to die sitting in a chair in my own garden with a glass of brandy in my hand and Thomas Tallis on the iPod.
I normally abhor the Daily Mail, where this piece appeared, but this powerful article presents a strong argument for the rights of people to make an intelligent and informed decision to take their own lives in situations of terminal illness, with no penalty to those who help them.
Heavy stuff aside, a bit about Pratchett (of whom both my wife and I are fans). He's immensely popular - but critically under-rated. The majority of his books are essentially pastiche, set in a Flat-Earth world called Discworld that provides a mirror of our own history, mythology and culture. Wyrd Sisters for instance, is a cross-breed between Hamlet and Macbeth. Pyramids satirises Ancient Egypt. Guards! Guards! explores the lives of the unsung spear-carriers in fantasy works. Carpe Jugulum is a dig at the tropes of vampire fiction. And so on.
Pratchett is a superb prose stylist. Philip Pullman tends to get more press coverage: he's darker, rather more literary in style, and he has a known anti-religious stance that attracts attention. But Pratchett, I think, excels in his combination of affectionate satire with a general sympathy for the human condition. He is just so much more fun than Pullman. My personal favourites among his works are Wyrd Sisters and Guards! Guards! Clare (Mrs Ray) agrees, with the addition of Mort.
Check out Pratchett's official sites: terrypratchettbooks.com and terrypratchett.co.uk.
(And I hope he gets his wish).