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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Compassionate Crime - Assisted Suicide



If you help someone in Britain to commit suicide there is the possibility you will get a maximum prison sentence of 14 years. But what happens if you take them abroad to another country where assisted suicide is legal, are they safe from prosecution at home?


Daniel James 23, didn’t want to live anymore. Paralysed from the chest down after a football accident, he became suicidal and begged his parents to help him end his life so they took him to Dignitas in Switzerland.


Dignitas is a Swiss assisted suicide (euthanasia) group that helps those with incurable physical and mental illnesses to die with the aid of doctors and nurses. Dignitas helps people with incurable physical illnesses such as cancer or severe disabilities such as quadraplegia to commit suicide. Additionally, they provide euthanasia for people with incurable mental illness, provided that they are of sound judgment and submit an in-depth medical report prepared by a psychiatrist that establishes the patient’s condition as fulfilling the specifications of the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland. Wikipaedia


Heartbroken, they watched as the son they brought into the world drank a milky barbiturate cocktail and quietly slipped away.


I think it’s about time we stopped being paranoid about this subject and made it legal. I know the legal profession are worried that some greedy people will start knocking off their aged relatives for their inheritance but surely if we follow the Swiss example, common sense will prevail – they seem to have everything covered.


Julie and Mark James have since been questioned by police and a report has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. Only time will tell what their fate will be.


When our animals are hurting, we don’t hesitate to end their suffering. How come humans don’t deserve the same consideration?