AGAINST Assisted Dying: ‘Cancer patients are offered poison to kill themselves’

All of us are moved by cases of people suffering from terrible illnesses such as Motor Neuron Disease, but these cases do not provide justification for ripping up long held and essential protections for disabled and vulnerable people.

By treating those who are terminally ill, disabled, or have chronic conditions differently in law, we send a message that their lives are worth less than other people’s lives.

Assisted dying puts vulnerable people at risk of abuse and of coming under pressure to end their lives prematurely…

In Oregon, around 55% of those ending their lives do so because they fear being a burden on their families or carers. There are cases of those suffering from cancer being refused potential life-saving and life extending treatment, while being offered the poison to kill themselves.

In Canada also, some patients have been denied medical and social care but offered drugs to take their own lives.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, which both allow euthanasia, laws have been extended from mentally competent terminally ill adults to non-mentally competent adults and even children. Most recently this was highlighted in Belgium by the case of Godelieva De Troyer (64).

She was physically healthy, but had a long and well-documented history of mental health problems. In 2012, she was euthanised without doctors consulting either her son or the psychiatrist who had cared for her for more than 20 years.

That death is now being considered by the European Court of Human Rights after a complaint by her son…

Read more here…

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