Marlowe's Shade

Monday, October 10, 2005

Slip-sliding Away in the UK

Not long after the British Medical Association dropped it opposition to euthanasia, right-to-die advocates have been pushing ahead.

I've mentioned the Swiss euthanasia clinic "Dignitas" in previous posts as well as their connection with Dr Michael Irwin. Now they are opening an office in the UK:

A controversial Swiss clinic which has helped nearly 40 British people commit suicide is to open an office in the UK because of growing demand, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Zurich-based Dignitas has begun discussions about setting up a British branch, even though it is illegal here to help someone commit suicide. In the past three years, 37 Britons have killed themselves at its clinic. It claims to have hundreds more British members.

Despite the headline, I wouldn't assume they are immediately planning on euthanizing people in the UK. However they would be nice positioned if this debate in Parliment goes their way:

Peers are preparing to debate whether doctors should be allowed to help some terminally-ill people to die.
Anglican bishops are expected to be among the fiercest opponents to the measure, which is set to be contained in a private member's bill.

Lord Joffe said his bill would make it legal for doctors to prescribe drugs that a terminally-ill person could take to end his or her own life.

He said just having the prescription would take the pressure off patients.

The cross-bench peer previously introduced a bill proposing terminally ill people could choose "medical assistance to die".

That bill's wording proposed enabling "a competent adult who is suffering unbearably as a result of a terminal illness to receive medical assistance to die at his/her own considered and persistent request".

Lord Joffe introduced the bill in the House of Lords last year but it ran out of time in the last Parliament.

Peers are to debate the issue of assisted dying on Monday.

Lord Joffe has said he will introduce his Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill at the end of this month or in early November.

How quickly it all happens.
papijoe 7:01 AM