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I’m glad the debate on assisted dying is forging ahead. But few understand why it frightens so many | Frances Ryan

I’m glad the debate on assisted dying is forging ahead. But few understand why it frightens so many | Frances Ryan

I’m glad the debate on assisted dying is forging ahead. But few understand why it frightens so many | Frances Ryan
Feb 29, 2024 1 min, 1 sec

The inquiry – which attracted more than 68,000 responses from the public – made no conclusive statement but instead collected evidence as a “significant and useful resource” for future debates.

Legislation is making its way through the parliaments of Scotland, Jersey and the Isle of Man that, if passed, would enable competent adults who are terminally ill to be provided at their request with assistance to end their life.

The argument for assisted dying is compelling, not least when high-profile people such as Esther Rantzen and the late Nicholas Dimbleby speak honestly of their fears of the end.

Roger Foley, who has a degenerative brain disorder, told the New York Post he felt “pressured” into considering assisted suicide by hospital staff, who raised the subject with him repeatedly.

The right to die does not exist in a vacuum: it fundamentally alters the doctor-patient relationship, and risks making members of society who are already vulnerable that little bit more insecure.

Imagine, though, if they were to give equal attention to the right to a good life: from building social housing, exploring a basic income, investing in mental and physical health services, to – as the inquiry recommends – funding universal coverage of palliative care and more specialists in end-of-life pain.

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