It’s not often I say this, but way to go Richard and Judy!
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan have said in an interview that they would help each other in assisted suicide should one of them because ill with no chance of recovery. The Care not Killing group are now gunning after them.
CNK have said:
““These headline-grabbing comments go against the advice of organisations like the World Health Organisation which says that discussions about suicide and assisted suicide need to be handled very carefully to prevent taking your own life or helping someone to die appear normal.
“Before making similar comments I hope that Richard and Judy might investigate more thoroughly the amazing quality of palliative care we have in this country and visit one or more of the UK’s outstanding hospices. How we maintain both with an ageing population and in times of austerity is what we desperately need to discuss.”
This is an exceptionally naive and personally intrusive thing to say. Should it not be up to every individual and their family to make such a deeply personal decision? CNK are inferring that ending your life when you are suffering is a morally wrong action and that it is incomprehensible given the apparently wonderful palliative care services available.
I don’t think anyone not directly involved in such a deeply personal matter should be making moral judgements, and the second assumption is just laughable. I very much doubt how wonderful palliative care is comes into the decision making when deciding whether you’ve had enough. Those who choose not to hang on to the bitter end should not be made out to be morally deviant. And CNK shouldn’t make out that such a decision to end your life under such circumstances is unusual. Likewise, those who want to extend their life for as long as possible should be allowed to do so and services should be made available to allow them to do so.
By criminalising assisted suicide and making out that it is morally wrong encourages people who are ill but currently functional to commit suicide earlier while they are still able to go through with the act themselves, to do so secretly and not with the support or through discussion with family.
We need to bring this discussion out into the open. We shouldn’t be making decisions about other people’s lives based on our own personal or moral opinion. We need to accept that what works for one person doesn’t work for another. That way, people who are seriously ill won’t feel backed into a corner into acting one way or the other. They need freedom to make an informed decision. Otherwise, we make a perfectly reasonable question taboo.