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End the suffering of those who are terminally ill
26th June 2012
The tragic case of Tony Nicklinson has highlighted how as a society we have yet to resolve one of the most important ethical issues of our time: under what circumstances should the law allow medical assistance to enable somebody to die? Nicklinson, severely disabled as a result of locked-in syndrome, is challenging the existing application of murder law. Since he is asking for someone to directly end his life, what he is seeking is voluntary euthanasia (legal in the Benelux countries), not assisted dying (legal in the US states of Oregon, Montana and Washington).
Others, like myself, would like to see the law on assisted suicide amended to allow doctors to provide the choice of an assisted death only to those who are terminally ill, mentally competent and have expressed "a clear and settled wish to die". A vocal minority would prefer to see no change at all.
Raymond Tallis | The Guardian
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