Cambridge scientist Stephen Hawking is backing the Assisted Dying Bill which is being debated by peers on Friday. The 72 year old cosmologist said it was “discrimination against the disabled to deny them the right to kill themselves that able bodied people have”. He went on to explain that safeguards would be needed to ensure the person truly wanted to die. Lord Falconers’ bill proposes allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to terminally ill patients judged to have less than six months to live. More than 130 peers have put their names down to speak. The bill would enable doctors to help patients die by prescribing a lethal dose of drugs.
Read more and watch the interview here.
This is one of those issues like gay marriage in which the religious impose their will on the rest of us. And yet in every hospital those same people usually consider it perfectly okay to turn off life support for their elderly mother or father or to respect the ‘do not revive’ wishes of patients. So you can in essence perform euthanasia but you must do so by removing a feeding tube and letting them starve to death (in full knowledge of what that will mean – eventual slow death by starvation) or to remove them from respirators in full knowledge of what that will mean – eventual death by asphyxiation. But to give them a painless injection at the time of the patients choosing? That is murder. The same applies for the more morally upright doctors who risk their jobs by deliberately overdosing the patient with pain killers – in full knowledge of what this means death by overdose.
So we do have euthanasia, unregulated, without procedures to protect the rights of the dying. You simply just have to progress to the point where you are in so much pain that the doctors can’t bear watching your suffering any more and/or the hospitals are so desperate for the beds that the medical establishment is prepared to take matters into their own hands, despite what the patient may feel about it. Great system, thanks religion!