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The law on murder

Comment 24th July 2010

To update the law on murder in the case of mercy killing.

Why does this matter?

I support the movement to change the law on murder to protect those who assist their loved ones in dying when requested to do so.   Many people who are disabled by illness or accident are kept alive by medicine or machine and should be allowed to end their lives if they choose to do so.    Circumstances often prevent the person from doing so without assistance. 

Most of the cases highlighted in the media recently concern those who are disabled by a stroke or muscular illness.   

There are many people with other conditions such as cancer who have their lives prolonged unnecessarily by health care professionals who are trained to save and preserve life.  

My father, who had cancer was kept alive for months after he had decided that he wanted to die.   Palliative care helped to ease his pain, but prolonged his life against his wishes. Family members had to battle hard to prevent him being given life sustaining nourishing drinks when he had decided that the only way to end his life was to refuse food.   He starved himself to death, since this was the only option available to him once he was bedridden.

A change in the law to help doctors and family members to assist someone to die would prevent the terrible suffering and mental anguish caused by terminal illness or disability.     

I note the comment on this site 'If an animal is ill, it is considered cruel to prolong it's life'.   

A solicitor pointed out to me that unfortunately the very people who would wish to assist a loved one to die would usually benefit financially from the death.    This of course creates the problem about motive.    This does not happen in the case of an animal.

 Modern medical treatments are able to prolong life, and most surely should be allowed to assist in a dignified and pain free ending.

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