Tuesday, June 14, 2011

UK: Why The Disability Community Are Against Assisted Killing

The fallout from the BBC's showing of an assisted killing last night is drawing a good amount of attention. Here's a piece explaining why the disability community  fears that legalized assisted killing will make them even more vulnerable than they already are.
Dominic Lawson: Why the disabled fear assisted suicide
Last night, courtesy of the BBC, we could watch a man being killed – voluntarily. The much-heralded climax of the documentary Choosing to Die was of 71-year-old Peter Smedley being administered a lethal dose of Nembutal helped down with a praline chocolate (this was in Switzerland, after all). In his comments to accompany Smedley's death, the presenter, Sir Terry Pratchett, declared: "This has been a happy event."
It certainly seems to have been one for Sir Terry, who since his diagnosis with a form of Alzheimer's disease has become Britain's most prominent campaigner for "assisted suicide". It was only last year that the BBC gave Pratchett the great platform of the Richard Dimbleby lecture; the novelist used it to mount a forceful argument in favour of what he calls "the right to die" for those unable to commit suicide without assistance. more

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