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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Poor NHS Care Drives Assisted Suicide Support



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Here is another cogent warning about the dangers of centralized health care. The people of the UK have apparently lost so much trust in the NHS, that it is driving support for legalizing assisted suicide. From the Telegraph story:

Fears about standards care for terminally ill people in the NHS are fueling support for the legalisation of assisted suicide, a study suggests. More than a third of those who said they support a change in the law cited a belief that dying people cannot expect to receive “decent” care at the end of their lives among their reasons.

Note that the poll isn’t about physician-assisted suicide, but friend or family-assisted suicide. Talk about a real vote of total no confidence in the NHS!. 

There’s a terrible irony at work here. Dame Cecily Saunders founded the modern hospice movement in the UK–showing that people need not receive poor care at the end of life. That so many in Britain are so worried about poor care at the end of life that it propels support for assisted suicide is a telling indictment against the technocracy that controls UK health care. 

The media shares some of the blame. I remember appearing on the BBC about assisted suicide. The interviewer demanded to know why I would want people with ALS to die by choking. I get so sick of that canard. I asked her whether she had called the medical director of St. Christopher’s Hospice, which I estimated to be about 10 miles from the studio. “Well, if you had,” I forcefully told her, “you would know that with proper care, people with motor neurone disease don’t die choking. Indeed, Cecily Saunders told me that she had treated thousands of such patients without one choking death!”  Needless to say, the presenter continued on as if I had never spoken those words.

The answer is to fix the medical system and let people see the changes, not make matters worse by surrendering to failure by legalizing assisted suicide.



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