‘Beware the dangerous consequences of legalising assisted suicide’

Campaigners against assisted suicide have spoken out movingly this week, amidst a major court case seeking to weaken the law.

Their comments have come in response to the ongoing media coverage of a legal case involving assisted suicide campaigner Noel Conway.

A Bill to legalise assisted suicide was soundly defeated in the House of Commons in 2015 by 330 votes to 118.

‘Dangerous precedent’

In a letter published in The Times, Baroness Finlay and Lord Carlile of Berriew of campaign group Living and Dying Well cautioned against such a change.

They said that Mr Conway and his backers were demanding “a right to involve others in bringing about our deaths. That is a different matter and parliament has been right to view it with scepticism.”

And on Channel 4 News, Mandy Colleran of Not Dead Yet UK said legalising assisted suicide would be a “dangerous precedent” to set.

Giving people assisted suicide is not an appropriate way to look at giving people dignified care.

Mandy Colleran of Not Dead Yet UK

Rising death rates

The Peers went on to criticise an article by Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein which appealed to Oregon’s assisted suicide law as evidence that ‘fears aren’t justified’.

“He ignores Oregon’s rising death rates from legalised assisted suicide”, they said.

They added that Finkelstein also ignored “the pressure to extend the law to wider categories of people and the research pointing to failures to detect clinical depression by the minority of doctors prepared to consider requests for assisted suicide”.

Not appropriate

Speaking to Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow, Mandy Colleran, who is herself disabled, said: “Ending people’s lives, giving them assisted suicide is not an appropriate way to look at giving people dignified care.”

“What we’re arguing is: we want dignified lives for people that end up having dignified deaths as well”, she added.

Related Resources