Coronation Street’s Claire King has said she would consider euthanasia in later life because she fears becoming a “burden to others”.
In an interview with the Mirror, King, who played the character of Erica Holroyd for three years, said she could “understand” why people ask doctors to help them commit suicide.
“It’s a decision at a certain age, when you’re becoming a burden to others.”
In the run up to a Westminster vote in May 2015, serious concerns were raised that legalising assisted suicide would pressurise the sick, elderly and vulnerable into ending their lives for fear of being a burden.
Conservative MP Caroline Spelman said: “Life is a gift from God with all it entails”. She highlighted the “increasing secularisation of society” as a cause behind older people “feeling a burden”.
And Labour MP Lyn Brown said a move to legalise assisted suicide would “fundamentally change the way our society thinks”.
Many also pointed to the incremental extension of the practice in Europe, and the absence of genuine safeguards. In May 2015, MPs voted 330 to 118 against the Bill.
Pain not the problem
Last month, a telephone counselling service which helps Canadians who are affected by assisted suicide or euthanasia revealed that, contrary to popular belief, pain is not usually the problem cited by people opting for the practices.
Spokesman for Compassionate Community Care Alex Schadenberg, said it was the “fear of being a burden” and “of having no purpose” that often came up, as well as the “fear of dying alone”.
In September 2014, celebrity cook Mary Berry also voiced support for the idea of euthanasia and that she doesn’t “want to be a burden”.
Responding to Mary Berry’s comments, spokesman for pro-life group Care Not Killing Alistair Thompson said:
“This is deeply depressing for such a well-loved celebrity like Mary Berry to speak out in favour of legalising euthanasia.
“It is clear that her reasons for backing euthanasia relate to her fear of becoming a burden. It is this reason that means we should never change the law”.