“This report has presented new evidence, collected from coroners and primary care trusts (PCTs), that at least 10 per cent of suicides that take place in England involve people with either a chronic or terminal illness. It is likely that this figure may be a significant underestimate, as we also found anecdotal evidence that some coroners currently choose not to include relevant health information within their inquest records, which are frequently the main input to PCTs’ suicide audits.”
“At least 10 per cent of suicides in Britain are linked to terminal or chronic illness and account for over 400 deaths each year... A study published by Demos reveals that in many cases people decided to end their own lives due to physical rather than mental illness. The report, The Truth About Suicide, also found that some people are killing themselves at ‘a younger age in order to avoid severe symptoms and greater pain in later life’... The report found that in 4,390 suicide cases last year, 10 per cent concerned people ‘experiencing some form of serious physical illness as an influencing factor’.”
“… while high profile lawyers, doctors and celebrities such as Terry Pratchett and Patrick Stewart grab the headlines, the views of the thousands of ordinary disabled people, who could be affected by this issue are rarely listened to.”
“... ignores two House of Lords Select Committee Inquiries into assisted dying, along with two free votes: presumably because they reached a conclusion with which he disagrees. On the last occasion, the inquiry covered some 246 Hansard columns and two volumes of 744 pages and 116 pages respectively, 15 oral sessions, 48 groups or individuals giving evidence, with 88 witnesses giving written evidence, 2,460 questions asked and the committee receiving 14,000 letters. After consideration of all the issues raised, as on the previous occasion, proposals to change the law were rejected by a wide margin. When the last vote took place in the House of Commons on a free vote the proposal was defeated by 91 votes to 236. In November last year the Scottish Parliament reached the same conclusion defeating Margo Macdonald’s attempt to legalise assisted suicide by a huge majority 85 to 16 votes.”
“… even with safeguards that seek to ensure patients remain genuinely committed to their decisions, it would be impossible to eliminate the danger of abuse entirely… It might be a small minority but you will never ever be able to eliminate risk and you should never pretend you can”.
However, don’t be led away imagining that the Demos Report and Mr Green’s published thoughts on the ‘right to die’ is the last we will hear from the euthanasia lobby before the publication of the Report from Lord Falconer and his Commission. That, I understand, will not be until nearing the end of the year. Before then, you can bet your shirt on publicly staged suicides and statements from individuals calling for “freedom of choice” being well-publicised at regular intervals. You can also bet your shirt on the euthanasia lobby stories ignoring the evidence, and behaving as though most of us were complete idiots who cannot see through their tactics.