Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Assisted Suicide lobby leader calls for assisted suicide for those who are not terminally ill

We are told by the assisted suicide lobby that they are only interested in legalizing the direct and intentional involvement in the death of others when they are terminally ill and suffering. The fact is that the assisted suicide lobby has never limited its goals to death for terminally ill people.

Society should never allow people to urge, assist or counsel others to commit suicide.

The suggestion that assisted suicide would only be available to people who are terminally ill is a selling point and not an actual goal of the assisted suicide lobby. They know that society needs to become accustomed to intentionally killing vulnerable, terminally ill people before they will accept the idea that anyone should be killed by euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Further proof of the concept that terminal illness is not a pre-condition for the assisted suicide lobby was reported in an article that was written by Martin Beckwith and published today in the UK Telegraph.

Dr. Michael Irwin, known in the UK as "Dr. Death" was reported to have started a new group dedicated to legalizing assisted suicide for people who are older but not terminally ill.

The article states:
The Society for Old Age Rational Suicide (SOARS), led by a former GP known as “Dr Death”, says that pensioners should have the human right to declare “enough is enough” and die with dignity.

Dr Michael Irwin says he knows of an elderly English woman who is considering taking her life through Dignitas, the Swiss “suicide clinic”, as she is suffering from progressive arthritis and worsening eyesight.

The new group has commissioned a national poll that found 67 per cent of those questioned agreed that very elderly and mentally competent individuals should be allowed to receive a doctor's assistance to die, if they are suffering from health problems but not terminally ill. Only 19 per cent of the 1,009 adults questioned by ICM said they opposed the move while the rest were uncertain.

I wonder what question was asked in the poll?

Maybe they asked - If you are ancient, but mentally competent and if you are suffering uncontrolled and excruciating pain, should you be given "aid in dying"?

Possibly they asked - If you become a suffering useless eater, and you are expensive for the national pension plan, would you rather be dead?

The article then states:
SOARS, wants to legalise assisted suicide with the help of a doctor for those who are merely tired of life because of their age and health problems rather than a terminal disease.

Its hope is that a future law would allow two doctors and a legal witness to agree that the patient was mentally competent and not being pressured to die by relatives, then for the elderly person to be provided with the “necessary medication” after a two-month cooling-off period.

The article quotes the groups website which states:
“Besides those who are terminally ill (which, in today’s medical-legal terms, means someone who is expected to die within six months), there are many very elderly, competent individuals who, experiencing increasing physical and psychological suffering, get to the last years of their natural lives and have to seriously consider whether departing this existence will be much more attractive than struggling on."

The Telegraph article then quotes Irwin:
“Since March, I have been meeting a very elderly lady, who is suffering from progressive arthritis and increasing blindness, who is thinking seriously of going to Switzerland for a doctor-assisted suicide. She has become a member of Dignitas.”

The article concludes this way:
The new campaign will be fiercely resisted by religious groups and charities representing elderly and disabled people, who fear a right to die will be seen by many as a duty to die.

They believe any suggestion that society agrees some people’s lives are not worth living will be taken by the vulnerable as a sign that they should kill themselves to relieve the burden on carers.

As much as I recognize that the assisted suicide lobby has never limited its long-term goals to legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia for the terminally ill, the fact is that Irwin is helping the assisted suicide lobby achieve its first goals.

Irwin appears to be taking a radical position. Society will therefore view the demands of the assisted suicide lobby as being more moderate and therefore supportable.

The fact is that Irwin is not more radical, he is simply expressing what the assisted suicide lobby believes and he is unwilling to follow the politically correct game-plan of the Dying in Dignity, which is the largest group in the assisted suicide lobby in the UK.

1 comment:

Michael Wenham said...

You are absolutely right about the tactics of the UK euthanasia lobby. I've noticed they usually concentrate their 'news stories' in the summer months (which we know as the silly season because of the lack of hard news stories) to ensure the maximum media coverage. Their 'stories' are usually people saying things or opinion polls, which as you say can easily be couched in biased language to give the required answer. You're also quite right about the distortion of language they indulge in, e.g. dying for suicide, compassion for exhaustion, ending life for killing etc. The dangerous thing is that the media and even opponents of assisted suicide collude in and normalise this abuse of language. I have MND/ALS and I for one do not want the UK law changed - because I think that would devalue life, which is our most precious gift. Please keep speaking loud and clear, Alex.