Henk Blanken knows Parkinson’s disease might one day take him past the point at which he wants to carry on. Dutch law says it is legal for a doctor to help him die when the time comes – but there’s no guarantee that will happen

I’m half the man I used to be. One half of my body twitches. I drool when I’m peeing, and I tear up at the sight of tiny broken birch branches in the snow. Sometimes my left hand jerks up, leading to slapstick scenes in which I involuntarily chuck a glass of water over my shoulder. In 2011, at the age of 51, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. After 10 or maybe 15 years, the doctor said, I would start needing help. But it was also possibile that I would grow old with Parkinson’s. “It won’t kill you,” he said.

It will end crappily though, I thought.

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