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In a study, The Truth About Suicide, researchers found at least 10% of suicides in Britain are linked to terminal or chronic illness, accounting for more than 400 deaths a year. Approximately 46 Britons a year go abroad to Dignitas in Switzerland for an assisted suicide. According to the oxford learner’s dictionary “the act of a person ending their life with the help of a doctor, because they are suffering from a disease that has no cure”. In another way, the term means it is a way of helping a person suffering an incurable disease accompanied by unbearable pain and mental agony.
“In the UK assisting anyone in committing suicide is a crime”. According to Section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961, as originally enacted, provided that it was an offense to ‘aid, abet, counsel or procure the suicide of another’ and that a person who committed this offense was liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years. In cases of assisted dying, the family members were not been convicted of helping them although some have been charged and have had to wait before hearing the charges have been dropped.
If we look back into the history, the first bill of assisted dying was introduced by Dr. C. Killick Millard, the President of the Society of Medical Officers of Health in 1931 and now in 2016, Conservative peer Lord Hayward reintroduced the Assisted Dying Bill into the Lords and yet it’s still in progress.
I agree with the fact that there is a need for legalizing assisted dying, the law is forcing dying people to have a painful and gruesome death. Due to absence of an assisted dying law people are taking their life behind closed doors can make a dying person’s situation worse. But they are unable to have an open talk with their doctor or family. To discuss their idea about assisted death with anyone could implicate them in a crime with a possible prison sentence of 14 years. Although, it’s against the Hippocratic oath of ethics for a doctor to use euthanasia, but he is the only person who can relive a patient from intense suffering or pain due to the disease for some reason which the doctor took the oath to treat it, making their assistance to a person who wants pass away peacefully due to their suffering and marking it as illegal and punishing them is inappropriate.
Many countries like Australia, France, USA, etc. have taken a stance in legalizing euthanasia or assisted dying, to help the one in need of it. More than 90% of the UK’s population believe assisted dying should be legalized for those suffering from terminal illnesses, according to an opinion poll that shows growing support for change to the law.
If compelling a person to live with suffering against his wishes is a law, then what does the right to liberty and life goes for? Is forcing someone to live with suffering against their wishes amounting to right or crime rather than making them pass peacefully on their intention, which is labelled as a crime?
Overall, I believe that in present times, with evolution of society there is a need of advancement in-laws, the law says that it’s a human right of a person to liberty and life, but same law itself dominates those rights by making the person to live forcefully against his wishes with suffering, which is a torture itself.
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