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Assisted Dying 14: Or be ‘sentenced to years of mournful dissolution’

In 2016, former archbishop, Lord Carey, and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu declared in favour of assisted dying – as do over 80% of the British public whenever polled.

Under a crude and ungracious Times headline, Jason Allardyce now quotes Richard Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh, writer and TV/radio broadcaster, who notes that keeping most people alive into their eighties is one of the ‘successes’ of modern medicine.

He reflects that doctors fight too hard to keep old people alive, leading to “a medicalised existence whose sole purpose is staying alive long after any joy in doing so has fled” and adds that it is having “a profoundly distorting effect on the balance of society as a whole”, placing a huge financial strain on the NHS.

In his new book, Waiting for the Last Bus, which is out in March, he writes: “Care of the elderly is close to swamping the resources of the National Health Service, turning it into an agency for the postponement of death rather than the enhancement of life.”

He claims that “modern medicine keeps too many people alive long after any pleasure or meaning has gone from their lives” and that old age can be bitter if experienced “not as a period of calm preparation for death but as a grim battle to keep it at bay”.

Holloway, who favours legalising assisted suicide, has found that instead of being “sentenced to years of mournful dissolution” many of them “long to be blown out like a candle”.

 

 

 

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Tony Nicklinson is now at peace; how many more people will be forced to suffer?

Tried and tested

Assisted-suicide and/or euthanasia is legal in Columbia, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and three American states: Oregon, Washington, and Montana.

Tony Nicklinson, who was paralysed from the neck down following a stroke in 2005, died peacefully today of natural causes.

He wanted the right to die yet was unable to take his own life or take a cocktail of lethal drugs prepared for him.

High Court judges ruled the issue was for Parliament to decide; knowing that, why did they admit the case?

Mr Nicklinson said he was “devastated” by the decision – in an article he wrote for the BBC, he had described his life as “a living nightmare”.

Tony Nicklinson and so many others could have been spared physical and mental torment.