That\’s not what we\’re worried about

Legalising assisted dying does not lead to more people opting to end their lives early, claim academics who have looked at the situation in The Netherlands.

What we are worried about is people being opted to end their lives early.

8 thoughts on “That\’s not what we\’re worried about”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Hang on. I thought there were dozens of people waiting for the law to come into effect so that they can painless end their lives in some dignity. It has had no effect? How is that possible?

    One reason might be doctors are cheerfully killing people left, right and centre, and were doing so long before it became legal.

  2. “Ending lives early” is a very strange phrase – keeping “lives” GOING with massive medical intervention is now possible, even routine, but how do you define “life” ? Is it that the chunk of meat is still made to breathe ? Or might one consider quality as well as quantity ?

    I discard clothes when they are worn out or damaged beyond reasonable repair. The ancient Greeks said man is a being clothed in flesh. Why should I ot discard these clothes of flesh when there is no useful purpose to them ?

    Doctors should NOT end life on their say-so, but should be allowed to, at the considered request of the being, with suitable safeguards in place.

    Alan Douglas

  3. SMFS: as the article says, the methods that were formally legalised in NL in 2002 had been legal in practice there (ie not prosecuted and not taken to the equivalent of the GMC) since the 1970s.

  4. “Or might one consider quality as well as quantity ?”

    One might, yes. But as Tim’s entire article point says, one shouldn’t have that decision made for one…

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Alan Douglas – “Is it that the chunk of meat is still made to breathe ? Or might one consider quality as well as quantity ?”

    Actually if anything there is evidence doctors are too quick to declare people dead because they want the organs. You can google some recent articles on it.

    “Why should I ot discard these clothes of flesh when there is no useful purpose to them ?”

    You want to top yourself, be my guest. But do not allow doctors to make that decision for other people. That would be silly.

    “Doctors should NOT end life on their say-so, but should be allowed to, at the considered request of the being, with suitable safeguards in place.”

    Explain to me what suitable safeguards you can put into place once the morality that says doctors killing people is wrong has gone?

    3john b – “the methods that were formally legalised in NL in 2002 had been legal in practice there (ie not prosecuted and not taken to the equivalent of the GMC) since the 1970s.”

    Well then there may be a problem with their methodology as we know they are killing a lot more people now than they did when it was first legalised. Children for instance. But it looks as if the explosion in numbers has not been in actual killings, but in putting people into deep sleep with the help of morphine until they die. This suggests doctors are squeamish about killing people still. Not that they don’t, but that they call it something else.

  6. In order to address this problem seriously, we have to be candid about the situation we have today, and the dispositions of the parties involved or potentially involved in any new regime.

    The only institution which could ever be trusted to act in the best interests of the patient, is the courts.

    Families are not all trustworthy, doctors are not all trustworthy (they are actually despatching folk using this Liverpool protocol, not out of medical necessity, but to free up beds.) Even care homes and local authorities have too much of a vested interest, some elderly patients being revenue positive so long as they are alive, others being revenue negative.

    Aside from the courts, who would need some form of notarised proof of patient’s wishes, there is no other class who could be regarded as honest brokers.

  7. Monty (#6) said “The only institution which could ever be trusted to act in the best interests of the patient, is the courts.”

    Can the courts still be trusted? I wouldn’t trust them.

  8. I’m sure Eoin Clarke will be along in a moment to make the case for the choice being handled by the government.

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