BESTSELLING fantasy writer and former Bucks Free Press reporter Sir Terry Pratchett has joined the right-to-die debate and called for a change in the law to allow assisted suicide in the UK.

Speaking on Radio Five Live on Monday morning, Sir Terry, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, said he hopes that one day someone will help him to die.

The author told host Nicky Campbell: “I know my own mind and all I'm asking is to have power of attorney over my older self.

“The people who are going for early deaths seem to be frighteningly sane.

“Alzheimer's makes the brain deteriorate and its terminal stages are no fun at all. I find it hard to believe there's an upside.

“I'm talking about a stage when you don't know who you are and you don't recognize your loved ones.”

Sir Terry was reacting to the House of Lords ruling last week on the case brought by Debbie Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair.

She wanted to know where her husband would stand legally if he accompanied her to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland where she would like one day to end her life.

The law lords ruled that the Director of Public Prosecutions should issue clear guidelines, which could be a major step towards legislation.

Chairman of South Bucks Alzheimer's Society, Tim Sloane, said: “I personally think it would be wrong to help someone die but it really is up to the individual.

“Religion comes into it - to help murder someone isn't something you would want to do as a Christian.

“My wife died of Alzheimer’s in 2005 and the last six months of her life were pretty awful.

“It's extremely tempting to try and help someone in that situation take their life but you have to hope there might suddenly be some miracle cure.

“In terms of changing the law I think it's a difficult decision, but I support Terry in his convictions.”