Saturday, May 13, 2006


The House of Lords have blocked a controversial bill to allow doctors to prescribe drugs that would end the life of terminally ill patients. For as long as I can remember, people have been fighting for euthanasia to become law in this country. Some people are even travelling abroad to places like the controversial Digitas clinic, to end their lives with dignity.

The argument for euthanasia has always been that we don’t let animals suffer so why should a human have to endure suffering. Maybe if some of the people who voted had members of their own families who were suffering or terminally ill, they would feel differently. Sometimes the ability of medicine to prolong life in these situations can be a curse rather than a blessing. Everyone deserves the right to die with dignity.

On the other hand, if the “Assisted Dying” bill was passed, there would have to be measures put in place so that this was not abused. Every one of us has the right to life as well as death and this must never be taken away from us. The danger is that in the wrong hands, (particularly with the National Health Service being desperately short of money) that people will be encouraged to take the easy option and end their lives, rather than taking up a bed and costing the NHS money treating them. The argument against the bill is that it would put pressure on the elderly, infirm and disabled to end their lives. This must never be allowed to happen. Stringent safeguards would have to be introduced to protect the more vulnerable members of our society. Each individual case would have to be considered on its own merits and the absolute signed consent of the patient would have to be obtained, with no doubt whatsoever. Proper rules and regulations would have to be put in place.

In the meantime the argument goes on.

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