Feed on

It is interesting to note that two of the most influential voices in British publishing have — in editorials — demanded that something be done about the archaic laws on assisted suicide prevailing in Britain: THE TIMES  and the ECONOMIST have now spoken out; perhaps others will follow.

It chanced that I first raised the issue of justifiable assisted suicide in the UK in 1978 when I recounted in the book Jean’s Way, how I had helped my dying wife to hasten her end at her request to avoid further suffering. (There was a police inquiry but no prosecution followed.) Despite the furor then, and similar cries since by others, nothing happened.

Since 1936 there have been eight attempts in the Westminster Parliament to change the law to be more merciful and understanding of end-of-life situations, but each time the dead hand of the churches has blocked reform.

It is time that public opinion — 80 percent in favor — had its demands finally respected in this so-called ‘mother of democracies.’

–Derek Humphry, Oregon

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