Law change threatens people like me


My own experience as a disabled person has strengthened my belief that legalising assisted suicide would be not only wrong but would prove a disaster for patient care and for the doctor-patient relationship, as well as serving to exclude from the medical profession those doctors who do not believe in killing their patients.

From the time I began to experience troubling symptoms involving my balance, muscle weakness and exhaustion, as well as digestive problems and fainting, it took approximately 10 years to obtain a diagnosis - which only resulted from my own efforts, and in the face of indifference, rudeness and erroneous information recorded ln my patient notes. It became clear to me that the NHS does not need any more patients, and the attitude of some of their personnel suggested that euthanasia/assisted suicide would be the next logical step for unwanted patients, or those who do not conveniently slot into one category of disease.

My experiences have not only been distressing on a personal level, but have acted as a warning of what would happen should assisted suicide ever be legalised. Once death is accepted as a legitimate response to suffering, who will dare to complain? Complaining will merely prompt the suggestion that the patient consider 'assisted dying', and from the point of view of the health services - which do not need any more patients - killing is always cheaper than caring.

Every jurisdiction that legalises ‘assisted dying’ with ‘strict safeguards’ soon drops the safeguards as soon as the law is passed and proceeds to include euthanasia for mental problems as death becomes the first resort rather than the last. If possible, this prospect is even more terrifying for a supposedly civilised society.