Euthanasia and assisted suicide in the UK have been a less urgent matter since our legislatures voted not to overturn the protection of the law for vulnerable people. Concerns still exist, however, about unofficial effects of sometimes inadequate palliative care in some places, and we should all support moves to bring everywhere up to the standard of the best.
Elsewhere things are unimaginably worse. The latest figures from the Netherlands and Oregon again show rising numbers of deaths. Even the inadequate legal restrictions seem to have been blatantly ignored in many cases, and a casual attitude by the authorities to proper recording is the norm. In about half the cases in Belgium and the Netherlands, victims appear to have been suffering from mental conditions such that they would not truly have been able to make a dispassionate decision. For more detail see http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk
The Canadian government is pushing through a bill with no effective oversight of the law, described by opponents as providing “the perfect cover for murder”. There is no “conscience clause” : it expressly insists that physicians and others who think it wicked to kill their patients have a duty to be complicit.
We see abroad all the evil effects that proponents of assisted suicide denied would follow a relaxation of the law, not least a change in attitude by the public in these countries towards the killing of the “unwanted” elderly and ill.
But on a more cheerful note, watch out for comedian Liz Carr’s ‘Assisted Suicide: the Musical’ at the Royal Festival Hall in September.