Once again assisted suicide is being presented by its supporters as somehow a necessity. That being so, they argue, legalizing assisted suicide would extend rather than shorten lives. From the story:
The ban on assisted suicideis forcing terminally ill people to cut their lives short, the House of Lords heard today as MS sufferer Debbie Purdy continued her controversial case to clarify the lawat the UK’s highest court.
Purdy, 46, from Bradford in West Yorkshire, who suffers from primary progressive multiple sclerosis, claims her human rights are being violated by the lack of a clear policy from the director of public prosecutions as to whether her husband, the Cuban jazz violinist Omar Puente, will be prosecuted if he accompanies her to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.
“It is ironic indeed that the more likely it is Debbie Purdy’s husband will be prosecuted for assisting suicide, the sooner Debbie Purdy will end her life to avoid that danger,” David Pannick, Purdy’s barrister, told the panel of five law lords. “We therefore have the bizarre position that a policy designed to protect sanctity of life will have the effect … of shortening the life of a terminally ill person such as Debbie Purdy”.
But that is nonesense. Nobody is forcing Purdy to fly to Switzerland to kill herself. That she might wish to do it someday does not make it a “necessity.” Indeed, accede to this sophistic argument and the whole potential for suicide prevention flies out the window. After all, anyone who wants to commit suicide can claim that if they know they can attend a euthanasia or suicide clinic, they might hang in longer. The House of Lords should reject this emotional blackmail.