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Assisted Dying Yes or No: Debating Matters UK final


9-Assisted Dying

On the streets of London the public provide more than ‘sound-bites’  on assisted suicide and sixth form students at the 2009 Debating Matters UK final do battle over this difficult issue. Expert judges take the students to task and Dr Michael Fitzpatrick suggests the state stepping in should be a cause for concern too. Durham Johnston School take the final prize.

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Related topics: Debates, Science Progress

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Zett said:

The matter is a difficult one, no doubt. There is a thin line to walk, and a lot of care needed not to cross it. I think it is everyone’s own decision what to do with one’s life – how one lives it, and when it should end. Does this change values? Well, to be honest, I doubt people in those situations care about the values of humanity as a whole – they care about what is left of -their- life. However, regulation allowing assisted dying leaves room for exploitation and misuse. Still, just because it is difficult to find the correct way to form the law, it should not be given up on. More discussions are needed to define how to minimize the risks but in the end, it should become legal.

goose said:

I can see why people who want the choice to die when they want don’t want to leave their loved ones in the lurch and facing prosecution. However, going down the legal road i don’t think helps, we want less interference from the government in what are essentially very personal decisions, and as usual these guidelines have just added to the confusion about who has the right to die anyway. More worrying is that this is probably the first time in history that fighting for people’s right to die is seen as human progress! And what happens if someone says “but i want to die, my life is a waste, i want the legal right to die” what do we do then, let the choice be theirs? The argument for assisted suicide is deeply misanthropic – let’s leave dying alone and get on with making sure all of us who are alive get a great and long life.

Michael said:

Wow, a very different discussion to the black and white ones I’ve seen on the news recently. I agree, people are far more capable than Debbie Purdy or anyone else would have us believe, in making the decision themselves. We don’t need a government go ahead to tell us that when we see our loved one in immeasurable misery, it’s okay to pull the plug (or not).

imlovingit said:

Really difficult issue, but excellent coverage and its good the public are treated seriously in the vox pops. The students are really good. I think the Doctor’s point about the state stepping in, being problematic is key as we all know that when someone we know is dying in a terrible state you’d do what ever it takes to deal with that and end their pain. That’s an informal personal arrangement based on trust but taking the litigeous route, handing over responsibility to UK litigators will rob us of that and belittles our humanity-what we would ordinarily do to help our family and friends.