A disabled journalist who describes himself as ‘strongly secular and liberal’ says legalised assisted suicide would put pressure on him to kill himself.
James Moore, the Chief Business Correspondent for The Independent, made the comments after the High Court rejected a challenge to the current law.
He explained how “corrosive” the feeling of being a burden can be, despite having a supportive and loving wife.
Moore said that people in a difficult situation may easily become convinced that that they were a burden.
“We need to focus on creating a society where people with disabilities can live securely, and do so without being weighed down with guilt”, he said.
He added that, for disabled people, assisted suicide feels like “the opening up of a crack in the dam that protects us against something very dark”.
His remarks follow an Australian disability activist questioning the push towards assisted suicide in his country when barriers to a fulfilling life are still in place.
Craig Wallace said a change to the law, as currently being considered in New South Wales and Victoria, could pressure vulnerable people into taking their lives.
…the opening up of a crack in the dam that protects us against something very dark
“I hear from people who can’t be examined by their GP because they don’t have a height-adjustable exam table”, he said.
Adding, “people with disability are entitled to ask members of parliament: why are you hurrying to grant us the ‘choice’ to die when you never lifted a finger to fix the barriers that made our lives miserable”.
Last week, judges at the High Court in London said human rights law did not extend to assisted suicide.
They were considering the case of Noel Conway, a 67-year old with a form of motor neurone disease.
Campaign Director of the Care Not Killing alliance, Dr Peter Saunders, welcomed the decision, saying: “The safest law is the one we currently have”.