Leader: The right to die
Sep 17 2009 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
MULTIPLE sclerosis sufferer Debbie Purdy is a brave lady who has shown how important it is to battle for your beliefs.
Although struck down by the illness, she has fought tirelessly to change the law on assisted suicide.
Of course, it is a controversial subject – and rightly so.
If anyone wants to end their life and seeks help to do so, any other person involved is put into a precarious position as the justice system now stands.
In the worse scenario they could face a murder charge.
Debbie has won the battle in that the Director of Public Prosecution must now develop clearer guidelines, but will she eventually win the war? It is uncertain what the result will be.
Time is of the essence especially with so many British people now travelling to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to die.
No doubt many of them would have wanted to end their own lives in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of their own homes with their families by their side.
If the law was changed there is the danger that some people could misuse it with the risk of the ill and vulnerable being coerced into making the wrong decision by friends or even family who have their sights on what may be left to them.
It is a very difficult and complex subject to tackle and let’s hope there will soon be some clarity.
Sadly, until then, others may choose to die a long way from home.