Assisted suicide is a cocktail of death disguised as an elixir of life, an author writing on the Guardian website has said.
And a columnist in The Independent has warned that assisted suicide could become an “oppressive social obligation” if legalised in the UK.
Their comments follow a BBC documentary which showed the assisted suicide of a motor neurone disease sufferer at a suicide clinic operated by Dignitas.
Writing on guardian.co.uk, Revd Michael Wenham, who has a form of motor neurone disease, described how two of his friends may not now be alive if assisted suicide had been legal.
Jill was left a paraplegic as a teenager and Dan was given six months to live 22 years ago.
Revd Wenham said: “I couldn’t help reflecting how different their, and therefore their family’s – and indeed our own – life would have been if the brave new world of Dignitas and its promoters had arrived here in Britain.”
Writing in The Independent, Dominic Lawson told of meeting ‘Bill’ at a focus group of Cerebal Palsy sufferers hosted by disability charity Scope.
‘Bill’ told the meeting he had changed his mind about making assisted suicide legal.
He continued: “I can see in 15 years or so my relatives saying, ‘Bill’s depressed, he can’t work, but hey, assisted suicide is an option.'”
And he added that he struggles to “see in practice a system of assisted suicide that will guarantee vulnerable people don’t end up being assisted quite aggressively”.
Concluding his article on The Guardian’s website Revd Wenham said the idea of the individual’s choice being sovereign is “a pretty impoverished world”.
He said: “The best thing in life is to experience the extraordinary depth with which one can be loved.”
He added that the “tragedy” of those deaths which were portrayed in the BBC documentary “is that they didn’t trust themselves to the journey their loved ones wanted to travel with them”.
Because if they had, he said, “the road might well have been rough, but they would have discovered, hand in hand with them, beauties of the human spirit few of us ever glimpse”.