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There is no logic in not allowing assisted dying with the right safeguards

10 Sep 2019 10:02 AM | Philip Patston (Administrator)

Source: Letters, Herald Scotland

WHAT a sad set of circumstances that have led to Richard Selley ending his life, yes, in the way he would have wished but not at the time nor in the place that he would have preferred ("‘The end was dignified and calm... he had taken control’", The Herald, September 7).

Any pet owner has the right to end the suffering of a well-loved cat, dog or other animal.

It defies logic that under similar circumstances, with appropriate safeguards, a sentient human cannot terminate his or her own life, at the appropriate time and in a dignified manner.

Condolences to his family and friends and may this brave man rest in peace.

David Chadwick, Carluke.

GORDON MacDonald concludes his article against voluntary assisted suicide for the terminally suffering by quoting Leo Alexander, Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials: “It started with the acceptance by doctors of the idea, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived” ("Change to law would send a message some lives are worth less than others", The Herald, September 8).

Since what the Nazis were doing was killing people who very much wanted to live and since the present campaign is for terminally ill people in great distress to be able to choose to have their death hastened, the comparison is misleading in the extreme and comes very close to a smear. Opponents of assisted suicide often play down or ignore the fact that it would be entirely voluntary, with safeguards in place to ensure that the dying patient is making a considered choice and is not under the influence of a passing mood. Instead, such opponents spread a false impression that it would mean jackbooted doctors inflicting death on those who very much want to live. Dr MacDonald here shows himself to be of that number.

Paul Brownsey, Bearsden.

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