I’ve been thinking of writing something about Lord Joffe’s bill to allow doctors to
kill patients assist the terminally ill to end their life. However Dr. Crippen’s excellent post has pretty much summed up my feelings on the matter.
Except for one further point – while I would trust myself to take my own life, given the standard of many of the GPs in my area I wouldn’t like to trust them to help me do myself in.
Besides, (and I think Dr. Crippen missed a trick on this one) how long would it be until the government introduced targets for doctors to hit in the amount of people they
snuff assist to die?
Still – I find that the Bill does have an important use – it is causing us to discuss such issues as palliative care and suicide in the public arena, where such things are normally whispered behind closed doors.
There is a big difference in allowing someone to die with as much dignity as possible (Do Not Resuscitate orders) and polishing them off by injecting them with drugs designed and dosed to end a life.
While pointing you to Dr. Crippen, I’d like you to note that I worked for a short time at the Mental Health Unit mentioned in this post – and there was indeed a thriving drug use culture amongst the patients there. The sleeping areas stuck to high heaven of cannabis, and those areas seemed to be ‘no go’ areas for the staff. As an excuse for my complicity, I was a mere student nurse at the time.