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Should assisted suicide be legalised?

The One Show Team | 15:46 UK time, Thursday, 2 April 2009

Share your views and experiences.


One Show guest John Humphrys has written that: "My father's last years cast a shadow over what had been a good life and those of us who knew and loved him feel a mixture of resentment and guilt to this day."

His father's final years convinced John to become a supporter of assisted suicide: providing the means, eg medicine, to allow a patient to end their own life.

Those in favour of euthanasia argue that a civilised society should allow people to die in dignity and without pain, and should allow others to help them do so if they cannot manage it on their own.

But there are many who argue against the legalisation of euthanasia. Many, for example, believe it could become a 'slippery slope'. Lord Walton, Chairman, House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics, has said:

"We concluded that it was virtually impossible to ensure that all acts of euthanasia were truly voluntary and that any liberalisation of the law in the United Kingdom could not be abused.

"We were also concerned that vulnerable people - the elderly, lonely, sick or distressed - would feel pressure, whether real or imagined, to request early death."

Euthanasia has been 'decriminalised' in a number of European countries, namely The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.

Should assisted suicide be legal in the UK? Share your views and experiences.


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