Parliament has the opportunity to re-balance our law in this difficult and sensitive area. Unless we revert to a position of a blanket prohibition of any assistance even for those with a voluntary, clear, settled and informed decision to end their lives, we have to recognise and accept their desire for professional help from medical practitioners rather than amateur help from loved ones.
People who are able to make decisions for themselves already have the right to do so in all other aspects of their healthcare. Campaigners argue that to refuse access to assisted dying is to deny our fundamental right to self determination. Parliament has a duty however, to balance the rights of the individual against the wider impact on others and to consider the unintended harms as well as the benefits.
Falconer's bill will alleviate the suffering of thousands of people nationwide by respecting their right to freedom of choice. We are clear, however, that in covering only those who are entering the last six months of their lives, this bill continues to restrict the rights of many more people who suffer just as much, but are 'merely' irrevocably ill.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has given a boost to the campaign for a change in the law on assisted suicide
Today the Supreme court ruled against right to die campaigners Paul Lamb and Jane Nicklinson in their latest attempt to change the current laws on assisted suicide, and I must admit I am relieved. I know that might sound heartless, and there are many voices who cry about their suffering and choice, but a recent stay in hospital made me realise that there is a wider issue behind the assisted suicide debate.
A Belgian man who was born a woman has died by legal euthanasia after his sex change operations left him with "unbearable
We know we're on the cusp. As a species, we almost always are. But in the beginning of the 21st century - as everyone's favourite
Right-to-die campaigners, spurred by fight of locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson, are to bring the issue yet again
Twin brothers who found out they were going blind have been euthanised by doctors in Belgium, despite not having a terminal
Animals have feelings and emotions, and they suffer from pain, disabilities and diseases just as humans do. But unlike my father, who could clearly communicate his wishes through a system of blinking his eyes, animals can't tell us (at least not in human language) that they don't feel well, are in terrible pain or even want to die. They depend on us to notice when something is wrong and to be brave enough to make the heartbreaking-but-humane decision to end their suffering when the time comes.