Human Exceptionalism

UK Family-Assisted-Suicide: From Unenforcement to Legalization–Let Relatives Help Kill

Well that didn’t take long. When the Law Lords ordered the head prosecutor to create a public document stating which assisted suicides wouldn’t be prosecuted, he declared open season on the dying, frail elderly, and people with disabilities by permitting family members to assist their suicides.  At the time, I predicted this would soon lead to efforts to formally legalize family-assisted-suicide. Now, a member of the House of Lords has predictably jumped to the chase.  From an e-mail sent out by Care not Killing:

Lord Alderdice has just tabled an amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill allowing exceptions to the offence of assisting suicide which reads as follows:

‘Exceptions to offence of assisting suicide

Notwithstanding sections 53, 54 and 55, no offence shall have been committed if assistance, is given to a person to commit suicide who is suffering from a confirmed, incurable and disabling illness which prevents them from carrying through their own wish to bring their life to a close, if the person has received certification from a coroner who has investigated the circumstances, and satisfied himself that it is indeed the free and settled wish of the person that they bring their life to a close.’

Don’t be fooled by the “can’t do it themselves” bit.  That’s a hedge that would be incapable of being enforced.  Moreover, why should someone have to die alone, the argument will go, if they can mix their own poison, but can die surrounded by loved ones if they can’t.  It’s ridiculous.  Moreover, once having a seriously debilitating condition is deemed a proper reason to commit suicide, how serious will the coroner take the investigation?  But hey, it will revive the commercial fortunes of the Exit Bag!

In the wake of the decriminalization, I wrote a piece in the Weekly Standard about George Delury, who claimed to have helped kill his wife, disabled by MS, due to compassion. But his computer diary showed he put her out of his misery.  That will happen in the UK, too. But since most would not be dumb enough to keep a diary detailing their selfish plans, in all likelihood, nothing whatsoever will be done about it.

At least the proposal busts the fiction that assisted suicide is a medical procedure–even if one called it “aid in dying.”  Culture of death, Wesley?  What culture of death?

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