Tony Lam Heung-ho, 47, is the managing director of Molecular Biology Ltd, a biotech firm that specialises in the modern production of traditional Chinese medicine. He says he has had several close encounters with death. I would say I have been close to death a few times. The first time, I fell asleep at the wheel. It was in 1981 in San Francisco; I missed my flight and had to drive. There was a big car crash but I escaped serious injury - quite a miracle. But the more serious crash was in 1983. I was driving in Central, near Murray Building. My car smashed into concrete barriers and my head slammed into the front windscreen. I have no idea whether I was conscious or not. I had a very strange feeling in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, like I was watching the whole incident from outside my body. I heard people pushing me into the emergency ward. I felt I was calmly observing things from above. Perhaps I was deluded. I could hear doctors speaking around me. When they gave me an injection, the out-of-body experience ended. It was only later that I felt the pain. I had a severe headache, like my head was about to explode, several hours after the accident. A week after the crash, my sense of time was completely distorted. I would mix up all my appointments, but it was a temporary effect. Eventually, I recovered. Then I had a stroke in 2000 at a friend's place. I was about to leave and stood up, but my back gave way and I just collapsed. My neck fell back and forth, and couldn't stay in the right position. I knew something was wrong. I was taken to the hospital and had a brain scan. Doctors found a blood clot the size of a golf ball in the left side of my brain, so it affected mainly the right side of my body. There was a surgery team waiting to see if I would pass out, in which case they would operate. But I stayed alert so there was no operation. A friend who was a traditional Chinese medical practitioner came to see me that night. He touched my right hand on a pressure point connected to the brain and it hurt like hell. He touched the same spot on my left hand and nothing happened. He instructed me to work this pressure point on my right hand even though it hurt when I pressed on it, and eventually it became less painful. It took me more than two months to recover and I had to undergo physiotherapy during that time. The pressure point is connected to nerves above the neck. My friend warned that in a stroke, one side of the body would have normal circulation while the other side would slow down and paralyse. I am pretty sure that by working on the pressure point, the pain helped to stimulate nerves on the side affected by the stroke. I now know death is not painful. When I smashed into the car window, I felt nothing. If someone dies in this kind of violent accident, I think there is usually no suffering. Maybe it hurt the family, but probably not the victim. That's why I believe euthanasia has value. If you survive and try to recover, that's when the pain starts.