current affairs

I oppose assisted suicide and you should too

I’ve listened to the arguments in favour of assisted dying.

I’ve listened to the arguments in favour of assisted dying. The liberal agenda in favour of such a deeply disturbing and unethical practise blasts so loud daily that it’s become deafening.

I’ve considered the popularised view that assisted suicide is an ‘act of compassion’ sometimes equating to the ‘most loving’ thing to do. Nevertheless, I find the act of helping loved ones kill themselves absolutely appalling.

The overwhelming problem with assisted suicide is that it leads to death on demand. I’m not just taking a blind shot into the dark with this statement—a recent study confirms this as a truth in the Swiss suicide clinics. 

Healthy people are travelling abroad for assisted suicide simply because they are ‘weary of life.’ The research, based on 1,301 cases of assisted suicide at three right-to-die organisations from 2003 until 2008 found that 16 per cent of the people who avail of ‘right-to-die’ organisations have no underlying problems listed on their death certificates.

Look at Andrew Lloyd Webber, who told the Times he wanted to die and was set to go to Switzerland last year. If assisted suicide had been legal in Britain, there’s every chance he wouldn’t be here today.

Ethical condemnation

Swiss researchers also revealed that women, highly educated, rich and divorced people were more likely to die from assisted suicide. Loneliness and feeling unloved is twice as likely to kill you as being obese is. 

Another hugely influential factor is religion, with people with no faith being six times more likely to opt out of life through assisted suicide than Roman Catholics. In secularised Britain, the ‘right-to-die’ campaign is gaining momentum. 

Moreover, the world’s professional medical associations firmly oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide. The World Medical Association opposes assisted suicide, stating: “Physicians-assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession.”

The reality is that it would be impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks. The medical world is not in the camp of those pushing suicide.

Yet many people ignore this truth, being roped in by manipulating storylines in soaps, most illuminatingly the Hayley Cropper storyline in the familiar ‘Coronation Street.’

The soap even showed people how to end their lives in their homes. Writers and producers used its popularity as an opportunistic platform to forward a political, deeply secular agenda. Normalising assisted suicide doesn’t pull at the heartstrings for me, instead I find it incredibly, incredibly dangerous. You may watch teary eyed as your favourite Corrie character takes her life, but seeing only the emotive side of the matter makes us susceptible to naivety.

The assisted dying bill is dangerous and has little to do with discussing end-of-life care with doctors, as those pushing to legalise assisted suicide in Britain would lead us to believe. The proposed assisted suicide legalisation stipulates that doctors may prescribe doses of drugs to patients who have less than six months to live. 

Medicine and politics – a bad combination

While doctors make the prognoses as best they can, using the most advanced technology, a prognosis remains merely a highly informed guess. A colossal amount of pressure is placed on patients who believe they have just a few more months to live, when the reality could be much different.

Once the legal dose is prescribed, there is no requirement for medical oversight or psychological monitoring—eliminating the possibility that someone is acting out of depression or dementia. 

The administration of drugs would be left to either the patient or a family member or friend, leaving the door wide open for serious abuse. What if the patient is feeling increasing pressure from their clearly burdened family to ask for that lethal dose of medication? There’s also no question that the lethal drugs could be used in an entirely evil way.

We hear of ‘choice,’but surely there’s no “choice” when pressures come with a serious disability or illness? Campaigners here claim that assisted suicide would not lead to more deaths. This is a laughable prediction and I’ll tell you why. 

Take Belgium for instance, a country which has legalised assisted suicide, jumping head first into the pervading culture of death.  Euthanasia deaths in Belgium – the ones recorded at least – went up by 27 per cent in 2013 alone. 

Death on demand is the result of legalisation: Doctors kill five people a day in Belgium. Assisted suicide is not only used by those with terminal illnesses who proclaim that they are desperate to die.

These killings include elderly couples, a despairing transsexual and psychiatric patients. 25 per centof patients who are dehydrated to death in Belgium are killed in this way without consent.

Are you still backing assisted suicide?

Legalising such a thing is a harmful combination of assisted suicide as medicine and political expediency. We can do without it. 

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: samcaplat / Flickr