Right To To Die.....would It Become Obligation To Die?

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ToraToraTora | 10:54 Wed 31st Jul 2013 | News
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Every time these come up, I think the same, yes you have a case but we cannot change the law because of where it will lead. I'm so glad the judges seem to to concur.


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Where do you think it will lead?

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think it through.....
Not sure that the judges do concur with you. Looks like their point was not, "Don't start this slippery slope," but something more like "Ask Parliament to, it's their job."

It's a very complex emotional, legal and ethical issue, and its times like this that I am glad I don't have to make these decisions.

It does seem to be a bell that could not be un-rung, and i guess the debate will go on for a very long time.
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exactly jim, slippery slope......... I don't think it is possible to frame a law for this in absolute water tight terms that will not be abused by the unscrupulous in the future.
Jim is right. In their judgements, the various judges have expressed a great deal of sympathy for those appealing to have the law amended, but rightly conclude that it is not their job but Parliaments to effect any change.

And the view you take of the likely outcomes of any proposed change to the Law is very much a "glass half- empty or half- full " issue. For some, it will be the first step on an inexorable slide to mandatory euthanasia of granny - a kind of dystopian Logans Run except with Grannies and Grandads on their Zimmers.

For others, it is a long overdue amendment recognising what ought to be the right in any free society of any compos mentis adult, whose life is so compromised by injury or disease that every living day becomes a living hell with no prospect of early release to find that release for themselves, should they so wish, and to not worry that family or friends or professionals who might assist them in carrying out their desires be prosecuted for manslaughter or murder for their act of kindness and support...
Lazygun and I have disagreed about this in the past, so in that sense I'm half on your side, Tora. But the judges are not so supportive of your position, and instead argued that if the law is to be changed then it is for Parliament to do so, not them. There was little or no "slippery slope" fear from what I can see.
Parliament should legislate for change. But every single case must go before a judge - say a stipendiary magistrate - for the arguments to be heard. Any declarations made by a patient whilst in full health ( before the desperate situation occurred) should be taken into account. This might result in more people making living wills while they are fit and well. Just in case.
The proposition would be that this would be a rare occurence and need individual judicial approval - so I cant see that happening now but it is a valid concern if we start going down that route.

I do think that should stop us from making such a change to allow it in limited areas though.

I also think that these continual court cases are pointless - again and again judges are interpreting the existing law as barring euthenasia it seems clear that however you argue the law is saying no.

For this to come about there will need to be new legislation - they need to stop wasting court time with 'Yes but would it be legal in this situation' arguments and bring pressure on parliament to change the law
^^ Agreed.

And no, it wouldn't become an obligation to die.
Definitely a Parliament decision, requiring new or amended legislation. I do not see these cases as wasting anyones time though- it helps to crystallise the arguments for, the objections against, and raises the profile of the issue which in turn puts pressure on Parliament to do something...
Tora - I have thought it through. So where do you think it will lead?

LG, That's true. I meant the requirement for new legislation.

"I don't think it is possible to frame a law for this in absolute water tight terms that will not be abused by the unscrupulous in the future."

That could be applied to any law, ever.
Those people who are thought by their heirs to taking an unconscionable time a-dying will probably be relieved that the Appeal Courts judges decided as they did. It would be the start of a very slippery slope.
I think we definitely should have the right to die. I don't see any more of a "slippery slope" than we already have. If anything, it might even be better monitored than it is now. The "elderly granny" example probably won't be hugely different, the highest change would be to younger people who have severe illnesses or disabilities which are not life-threatening themselves, but that they don't want to live with.
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It will lead to what LG describes, with unscrupulous relatives taking granny to the Carousel to snap up the legacy. Granny would probably go along with it because old people don't want to be a bother. Sorry you seemed unble to deduce the obvious for yourself ummmm, there I have spelt it out.

In reality these cases come up now and again because the person concerned makes a fuss through the courts. Doctors have been assisting suicide for ever, not for resucitation etc. As it is now so public no one will touch it with a bargepole.
Does anyone know the phrase, 'Ease their breathing'? When I heard it I took it to mean help them breath easier. It seems it means the exact opposite.
That should have been, 'Give them something to ease their breathing'. ^
Tora, you're right. A lot of elderly people don't want to be a bother - but I don't think many would willingly be led like lambs to the slaughter!

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