Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday 10 May 2006

Doctors oppose right-to-die law

Well whatever the Royal College of Physicians may say, I shall take good care to make my own arrangements when the time comes, thank you very much. If necessary I shall be in touch with the good folks of Dignitas. I think it is quite wrong for the police to have questioned a young man for having assisted his mother to end her life in her own way, even if I understand that the loss may be very difficult for her sister to bear. Personally I would hope that my own relatives would try to force me to stay alive if I were in extreme pain and had myself made the decision to end this defintively.

Having said all of this I may be conflict with some of the policies of the Samaritans, for which I was a volunteer for a number of years, both here in the UK and abroad - see also Befrienders Worldwide. Not that I ever felt, whilst a volunteer, any difficulty whatsoever in reconciling my own strong views on the right to choice of an individual to determine his or her own fate with a desire to provide a listening ear for however long it took for a person to reach their own conclusions about what was best for them, even if my hope (as a volunteer) was always to encourage people to see their situation clearly and rationally and hopefully to reach the conclusion that continued life was preferrable, if not always easy. But ultimately individual choice is key.

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