A 19-year-old cancer sufferer who ‘celebrated’ life and raised millions for charity, shames the celebrities who back euthanasia, a columnist has said.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Rosa Monckton, spoke of how Stephen Sutton – who died on Wednesday – achieved something very “beautiful” by reminding us to celebrate each waking hour.
She recalled Sutton describing life as “brilliant” despite his painful cancer treatment and compared his outlook with mainstream TV presenters who were willing to choose assisted suicide if they fall seriously ill.
Monckton also criticised Cilla Black, another TV personality, for saying she wouldn’t want to live past 75.
Monckton said: “There is an insidious pressure not to keep people alive if they are elderly or very ill, and people like Cilla Black are simply adding to that atmosphere, encouraging people towards annihilation.
She questioned why “we need inspirational people” like Stephen to “make us recognise how extraordinary it is to be alive”.
She added: “We all waste so much time complaining about trivial things going wrong in our lives. Yet we are in better health, and longer lived, than at any time in human history.”
This year, two elderly British women have already taken their own lives at Dignitas, the Swiss euthanasia clinic.
One of them, an 89-year-old retired art teacher, said she had felt alienated by the modern world.
Monckton commented: “There is increasing agitation in society for us to adopt laws similar to those in Holland, where euthanasia is legal even for children as young as 13 if there is parental consent.
“In February, the parliament in Belgium passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit.”
“Life is to be lived”, Monckton wrote, “in whatever guise it is offered to us, because, as the remarkable young man who was taken from us this week said: ‘Life is brilliant'”.
Sutton, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer, captured the public’s attention with an ambitious ‘bucket list’ that led him to play drums before a 90,000-strong Uefa Champions League crowd.
He also raised over £3 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust, after he posted an emotional ‘selfie’ of himself lying in his sickbed.