Last year Tony Nicklinson lost his High Court battle to win the right for assisted suicide. Subsequently, he refused all food and starved himself to death – which of course must always have been an option. That aside, however, as promised at the time, there is now to be a fresh onslaught. Lord Falconer is shortly to table a new bill calling for assisted dying for the terminally ill. More immediately, however, the paralysed father of four, Paul Lamb, is campaigning for the right to have a doctor end his life by lethal injection. This is a significant and alarming development. Mr Lamb’s situation is undeniably tragic, but he is not terminally ill, and could indeed live for some considerable time. More to the point, because of his paralysis, he is wholly incapable of taking his own life, and is therefore asking for the right to have someone else kill him. The effect of this, if allowed, would be to legalise murder, and would clearly pose a massive threat to the vulnerable and elderly – indeed, to anyone whose quality of life was assessed as ‘poor’ or inadequate.
VfJUK is already running a petition to stop misapplication and abuse of The Liverpool Care Pathway (LPC): http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/prevent-abuse-of-the-liverpool-care-pathway-lcp.html. Please, if you haven’t already signed, do so, and pass on to others. But we shall now also be taking more active steps to defend the right to die ‘naturally’, without fear of being pressured into assisted dying or as result of euthanasia. If you share our concerns, please keep an eye on the website for future events, and give us your support.