Good grief

I actually find myself agreeing with Gordon Brown:

For let us be clear: death as an option and an entitlement, via whatever bureaucratic processes a change in the law might devise, would fundamentally change the way we think about mortality.The risk of pressures – however subtle – on the frail and the vulnerable, who may feel their existences burdensome to others, cannot ever be entirely excluded. And the inevitable erosion of trust in the caring professions – if they were in a position to end life – would be to lose something very precious.

Me? I want the law to stay where it is. Assisting a suicide (let alone euthanasia) is illegal. People do it they get investigated and tried. It\’s up to the jury, after the fact, to decide whether there was sufficient \”justification\” to make it a mercy killing rather than murder.

7 thoughts on “Good grief”

  1. I’ve never quite understood how the argument that assisted suicide would pressurise the vulnerable deals with normal suicide.

    If I’m frail and feel a burden, do you think there should be penalties to deter me from downing a bottle of pills?

  2. Mr Potarto: the flip-side of that is that legalising euthanasia sends a message (to use a dreadfully New Labour phrase) that there are some lives which are not worth living. That is bound to have a deleterious effect on people who are, in economics-speak, marginally suicidal: namely, they will be pushed over the edge.

  3. But surely some lives are not worth living.

    I watched someone die of lung cancer. Actually he didn’t die of lung cancer, the secondary cancers shut down his digestive system and he starved to death. He looked like a corpse while he still lived. I shudder to remember it.

  4. Maybe we need to remove all sharp knives and anything else that has a dangerous potential from this planet, lest someone somewhere thinks of abusing it… (And right now, no-one ever murders anyone for inheritance either, right?)

    You’re asking to uphold a law that you think makes the grim reality go away (also compare prohibition of drugs and prostitution) — because you don’t like the hard choice you’d have to make.

    Well, there is no happy end here to be had, only the least evil solution, and note, it’s not you who is paying the price, but the victim, who gets to suffer all kinds of tortures (the real kind) so your innocence is preserved and your sensibilities are not offended.

    The same people will still die, just more painfully, and in your attempt to prevent a modern Ausschwitz for the dying, you are actually upholding the current situation that is far worse that what you’re trying to prevent.

  5. People can be persuaded too die just as people can be persuaded to go into nursing homes so the children are not bothered.

  6. We have an unfortunate clash of vested interests to take into account.

    Families have a vested interest in maximising their inheritance. Sure they do.

    But local caregivers have a vested interest in capturing patients with lucrative resources, racking up their charges, and leaving the patients to die in their own faeces while they pretend to provide an exceptional standard of care. Just like in our NHS hospitals.

    There are two sides to this problem.

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