...persistently, nastily, to accept the notion that very ill people should be "helped to die".
A recent tragic case involved a young woman struck down with a disease for which there seemed to be no known cure.Her life was indeed a tragic one - she lay in bed day after day and there seemed to be no hope.She said that she would like to die.At one point she wrote a thoughtful and touching essay. It made me think that she should be encouraged and helped to write more. Lying ill in bed is restrictive of so much - but it need not preclude writing, especially with the use of a computer, and especially where there is a real talent and gift of expression, as in this case. But we will never know what she might have produced. Her mother took her words about wishing for death seriously, and gave her a mix of drugs so that she died.
There has been an enormous amount of media coverage, all of which expresses sympathy for the mother - and indeed it is clear that she acted because she was torn by her daughter's dreadful suffering, and had lovingly nursed her for years with great devotion. But, but...what about the possibility that a cure, even a partial one, might have been obtained over the next years? What about the possibility that the young woman's gifts - for example, in writing - might have been developed and given her joy and peace of mind even in a life so terribly blighted? History offers examples of gravely disabled and bedridden people who exerted influence, gave inspiration, wrote, fostered ideas, achieved things even from a sickbed. It is not impossible.
If Britain legalises "assisted suicide" we face dark times. In the name of a misguided compassion, we will be allowing something terrible.