Friday, 20 March 2009

Assisted dying

I wrote a letter to a constituent yesterday who was worried that the Government was contemplating legalising assisted suicide. I reassured her that there was no legislation currently in front of parliament ... and then up pops Patricia Hewitt today with her amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill, which is going to be debated on Monday.

I got an email from Patricia asking if I'd add my name in support of the amendment, but only saw it late in the afternoon after the House had risen, so was too late to do so. I would have. I'm in favour not just of ensuring immunity from prosecution for those who travel overseas with the terminally ill to these clinics, but of allowing euthanasia or 'assisted dying' here too. Obviously, as I also reassured my constituent in my letter, we could not go down this path without public debate and very stringent safeguards to prevent abuse, but in principle I'm in favour. The Prime Minister isn't, and I'm not entirely sure why. (And here's an earlier post on this).


Martin said...

"The Prime Minister isn't, and I'm not entirely sure why."
Because he has no regard for self-determination and individual liberty? Because he sees the population not as people but as tax slaves?
Because he's useless?

Remember Remember said...

For a change, we agree.
But maybe you can convince Brown and your Komrades and "assist" them?

Steven_L said...

Because he thinks we're incapable of looking after ourselves and has convinced himself that if he doesn't do it for us - no matter what that takes - everything will go to pot.

Kerry - he's a loony!

Jim Baxter said...

'very stringent safeguards to prevent abuse'.

Can these be trusted?? This debate is very finely balanced with honest, ethical, caring arguments on both sides. I know how finely balanced it is because I've ratted and re-ratted on both sides a few times now and normally I'm a thoroughly self-satisfied, opinionated git who never listens to anybody else's arguments.

There's a lot all of us could say, especially those of us who have seen a close family member suffer over a long period who definitely wished only for it to end.

I'd ask only this, however. What safeguards can be put in place to protect a person who would, if alone, wish to fight on but who decides not to, not because of any kind of pressure from relatives, but because they themselves decide that they are a burden to others?

Old Holborn said...

Anna Raccoon has left a very poignant post on my blog regarding the judicial execution of a 9 month old baby.