AS­SISTED SUI­CIDE

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment&analysis -

With re­spect to Rabbi Daniel Levy’s com­ments on as­sisted sui­cide ( JC, Oc­to­ber 2), I can­not agree that the draft pol­icy re­cently to emerge from the DPP as a means of clar­i­fi­ca­tion of the law rep­re­sents ei­ther a step to le­galise as­sisted sui­cide or a so­ci­ety where “if peo­ple are no longer ‘pro­duc­tive’ they are per­ceived to have no value.”

The pur­pose of the draft pol­icy, (while em­pha­sis­ing that as­sisted sui­cide re­mains a crim­i­nal of­fence, pun­ish­able by up to 14 years’ im­pris­on­ment) is to clar­ify the cir­cum­stances un­der which a per­son can be ex­pected to be pros­e­cuted when they as­sist oth­ers to die.

It does not per­mit the el­derly or those who are per­ceived to have val­ue­less lives to be af­forded a pre­ma­ture death by un­scrupu­lous fam­ily and friends; on the con­trary, the pol­icy al­lows those who suf­fer from ter­mi­nal ill­nesses or se­ri­ous de­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease the free­dom to call a halt to their own suf­fer­ing.

The Abor­tion Act 1967 does not sanc­tion reck­less foe­tus de­struc­tion and if as­sisted sui­cide is ever le­galised I have no doubt Par­lia­ment will en­sure that sanc­tity of life is pre­served. Clau­dia Carr c.r.carr@herts.ac.uk

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