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Created by Griffiths: created on Sunday, 07 February 2010 12:28 PM

ASSISTED SUICIDE is currently outlawed. However, according to latest opinion polls, if the voters were to have their way, the law would change, making assisted suicide legal. At the moment, those wishing, through all forms of unbearable suffering to bring their lives to end, have to travel abroad in order to have their pleas answered. Their plight is, on the surface, unjust. I have even heard one proponent of a change to the law compare their own circumstance to that of slavery: such is the depth of emotion surrounding this issue. I find nothing wrong morally in helping someone in desperate circumstance to end their life; providing the circumstances of their disease or illness is irretrievable, and will ultimately result in a painful, humiliating, or lingering death. To some of those sitting in a wheelchair, either with or without any kind of movement, and totally reliant upon a family member or friend in order to function; a change in the law must be a form of salvation. Knowing this, when they have had enough they can give a nod and a wink to a family member or trusted friend, without fear of prosecution.. this is all they ask of society. They cannot see harm only good in their request for deliverance. But there is always a downside to any worthwhile and seemingly attractive proposition: and I feel that on this issue emotion has killed off any kind of contrary foresight. In the modern world where science and technology have undoubtedly helped rescue humanity from the destructive urges of nature, the moral arguments have only increased and been stretched when it comes to science and religion. WHEN IT COMES TO ALLOWING THE TAKING of human life without reference to the courts, which is what legalising assisted suicide means; then indeed the ‘slippery slope’ argument is a somewhat understatement of the consequences. In place of the courts, it has been suggested by (the fantasy writer) Terry Pratchit (TP) that there should be some kind of panel of presumably ‘experts’ to oversee the request for any assisted suicide. I can imagine nothing more sinister than a panel (committee - or polit bureau?) to decide on who should be allowed to die or not. In suggesting this, Pratchett has not only undermined the system that requires every citizen to be judged by their peers ( the jury system): he now offers up a body that, like all such well meaning machinery since the Inquisition as well as Soviet communism, seeks only the good, but ends up creating oppression and subjugation. What form such despotism may take, if legitimacy is given to assisted suicide, remains to be seen. But after such legitimacy has been allowed to take seed by the law; then capitalism will be free, as usual, as the main benefactor of such an innovation to make profit from such a law by advertising their services between programmes on television. ASSISTED SUICIDE should not remain outside the law. Let only the jury system decide. At the moment in such cases, just as it has always been, the doctor uses his judgement to end a

Created by Griffiths: created on Sunday, 07 February 2010 12:28 PM life and this is as it should remain however hypocritical: the law is what we live by; if it fails in its duty then woe betide the country. By presenting such cases to the courts, both the jury as well as the judge will be the final arbitrator in such cases. Every case of assisted suicide must be fully examined by the law to determine whether the assistance was without ulterior motive.