Editor's Choice

Assisted dying: it’s time to poll UK doctors

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k593 (Published 08 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k593

Who's life is it anyway?

I am not a medical professional but I have considered this matter for many years because I would like a choice of how I end my own life in the event that I am faced with a terminal, incurable, painful and disabling illness.

As far as I can determine this issue seems to be split into two camps.

Those who are against Assisted Dying and think it should not be allowed under any circumstances. They seem to come at this broadly from a religious perspective that only the God that they choose to believe in can end life.

On the other side of the debate are those like myself who would like self determination of when and how that end should be. At the present time I have the finances that would enable me to travel to Switzerland and take the Dignitas route. But will my circumstances be such that I can do that in years to come. To take this route under current UK legislation would mean that I have to end my life sooner than I might otherwise choose to do.

If a person wishes to follow the no Assisted Dying route because of their own beliefs there is no reason that they should not be allowed to do so. However those that feel this way currently have control. Their beliefs, not mine, are preventing me taking the route I choose. This often means imposing, when palliative care no longer works, a brutal regime. A regime which if an animal was subjected to could end up with them in court for unnecessary cruelty.

Surely a human being has more rights and deserves more care and compassion.

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 February 2018
Bill Green
Utilities Broker
Layperson. Not medical. No medcial affiliation. Member British Humanist Association.
Walsall, West Midlands