Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the category “suicide”

The Right to Die

The Commission on Assisted Dying says “the current law is “inadequate and incoherent” and should not continue.” How right they are, the right to a peaceful death at a time and place of our own choosing should be enshrined in the UN Charter of Human Rights. My life is by definition mine and your life by definition is yours, it does not belong to anyone else least of all to the State.

This particular report only goes as far as saying that someone diagnosed with a life expectancy of under 12 months should be able to call upon medical assistance to die peacefully and suggest, quite rightly, many safeguards. This is obviously a tentative step in the direction of legalising what already happens to a fortunate few who have the resources to go to Dignitas in Switzerland which presupposes that you have the financial and physical ability to get there. It also means that perhaps some people are actually going abroad to die earlier than they would wish simply because if they delay they may not be able to travel.

I can understand some doctors not willing to participate either from an ethical value or religious belief and that’s fine they can exclude themselves from helping but no politician or law should prevent me or anyone else ending MY life if I choose to do so in order to save myself a prolonged suffering that will eventually end in death anyway.

The Right to Die

The Italian senate is to debate the case of a woman who has been in a coma since 1992 and who’s father has arranged for he to be taken to a care home where they will withdraw life support from her and allow her to die.

Silvio Berlusconi with the conivance of the Vatican has tried to make this act of mercy impossible. Another case of the Church having undue influence on secular law as happens here too often. If some people wish to hold certain beliefs and choose to obey rules of the leaders of those beliefs well fine but those beliefs should not, must not, be allowed to affect the rest of us.

There should certainly be a right to die. If I, for example, should be unfortunate enough to contract terminal cancer what advantage is it to me or anyone else that I should linger on in a distressed state or in pain? It is no one’s business but mine. In the event that anyone ends up in a coma with no realistic chance of coming out of it then the relatives should be enabled to take the decision to allow that person to pass away.

No law, ever, should be drawn up with the assistance of or diluted by, a church or any other religious body. The right to die includes by default the right to live so if someone did not wish to claim their right to die they do not have to.

Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide is much in the news lately including today’s showing on Sky and recent death of the young rugby player in Switzerland.

There is opposition to legalise assisted suicide in this country, in particular from religious groups who say only God can decide when someone should die and that life is a gift. It seems to me that a gift with strings attached is no gift at all. I have no problem respecting these people’s point of view and if they want to suffer unnecessarily that’s their right but what of those who have no religious belief? A right to choose is all that is required.

At the moment a terminally ill person can go to Switzerland for example, to leave this life peacefully with loved ones around. The problem is they have to leave their home and travel to a foreign land and do so perhaps before they wish in order to be able to travel. Why can’t they have the right to choose to die in their own home at the last moment that they wish?

It seems so simple to me and would also appear that the majority of our population agree, so come on Parliament get on with legislation, safeguards can easily be inserted into a Bill.

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