Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pressure Builds in UK for Assisted Suicide

Here’san alternative view of the UK’s recently-formed Commission on Assisted Dying. It plans to investigate assisted suicide and euthanasia and come up with an objective answer.

Poppycock, says London Telegraph columnist George Pticher.

But its findings are already a done deal, of course. To recap: not only is Lord Falconer a well-known advocate of euthanasia, who has tried to introduce it into legislation in the Lords, but he is chairing the “Commission”. At the last count, nine of the 12 “Commission” members are on record as supporting some change in the law to allow some form of euthanasia in the UK (the remaining three are best described as neutral-to-wobbly, so there are no actual opponents of a change in the law here). The “Commission” is bankrolled by Sir Terry Pratchett, the novelist who believes those of infirm mind should be put to death, and sponsored by the death-on-demand lobbyists Dignity in Dying.

In what circumstances, exactly, is this bunch of euthanasia enthusiasts likely to come up with a report that says “Y’know, it turns out we were quite wrong and have changed our minds. Euthanasia is a wicked and ghastly institution and there’s no need for a change in the law.” No, it’s a bunch of like-minded people deciding that they’re right and publishing a report to “prove” it.

An enormous amount of pressure is being applied in the UK to legalise assisted suicide so that people who want to end their lives in comfort won’t have to travel all the way to Zurich to take advantage of Switzerland’s liberal law. A group called Dignitas has developed a cottage industry in sending foreigners to the pearly gates for a substantial fee.  An “objective, dispassionate and authoritative” Commission is an excellent PR stunt.

There is an alternative view and it’s this: No it isn’t. It’s like putting together a collection of turkeys to decide whether Christmas should be changed. Or asking the Belvoir Hunt whether the fox-hunting ban should be repealed. And asking Prince Charles to chair.

From here.

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