Friday, April 08, 2011

Assisted dying

I remember the BBC reporting on Margot MacDonald's Bill in the Scottish Parliament supporting assisted suicide but I can't remember hearing the outcome of the vote. No wonder! The Bill was overwhelmingly defeated by 85 votes to 16. There is a strong pro-euthanasia lobby amongst the liberal establishment which is supported by the BBC.

Now Lord Falconer has established a Commission on Assisted Dying under the auspices of the left-wing think tank, Demos. Falconer was the leading lawyer in Nu-Labour's failed administration. He got the job by being Tony Blair's room mate when he was a lawyer (how did we put up with Tony's cronies?)

Falconer has been adamant that he wanted to hear evidence from all sides, but 6 out of the first 11 invitees have refused to give evidence. Why is this?

First because there have already been a comprehensive recent examination of 'assisted dying' by a House of Lords Committee and three parliamentary votes in the past 6 years, all strongly rejecting a change in the law. Second. because of the 12 members of the Commission nine are already committed to a change in the law and the chairman, Lord Falconer, has already sponsored a Bill in the House of Lords to change the law. Third, none of the members of the Commission has been required to declare their conflicting interest. There is one disabled person on the Commission who is not a member of any of the five major disability rights organisations in the UK (RADAR, UKDPC, NCOL, SCOPE and Not Dead Yet). Why? Because all 5 oppose a change in the law. 95% of palliative care doctors and 65% of all doctors oppose a change in the law yet Falconer has chosen for his Commission four doctors who hold a contrary position.

It's a free country an Lord Falconer can do what he likes, but nobody should pay much attention to what his Commission will report.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Assisted dying is legal in the State of Oregon. But, I have heard that those who actually go through the rigorous process to receive the medication rarely use it.