Monday, May 13, 2013

The right to be killed.

Rather glad I'm not the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge this week. Along with Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson and Lord Justice Elias he is considering the legal arguments around the cases being brought forward by Mr Paul Lamb, a terminally ill man in constant pain, a 'locked -in-syndrome' patient known as Martin and the widow of Tony Nicklinson, another 'locked-in-syndrome' sufferer who died recently. They want the law changed to allow for people in these awful situations who want to be killed to be allowed to arrange with a doctor to carry out the euthanasia.

Along with everyone else, I can have nothing but the greatest personal sympathy for people who find themselves in such a terrible place. But I am implacably opposed to euthanasia - and to the legalisation of 'assisted suicide', which is soon to be debated in the House of Lords. To allow such legislation is unacceptably dangerous, and devaluing of the frail elderly, the mentally ill, the pysically ill and the terminally ill. I was pleased to read that the Lord Chief Justice has today said that he will decide the cases on basic principles of law and will not be swayed by "personal sympathy. He is absolutely right. To my mind the case is straight forward. But I'm still mighty glad I'm not the person that has to make this judgement.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The problem with all this is that old vulnerable people who do not actually want to die can be pressured to die by means of assisted suicide by family members more in tune with inheriting their wealth or 'getting rid of a pain'. It happens - elder abuse is a serious issue in the UK. We hardly bat an eyelid at the awful carnage this past winter - the death toll among British seniors from cold accelerated deaths. cw