The points made by Dignitas founder Ludwig Minelli have me shuddering. It is as if he has no social conscience whatsoever. The idea that anyone wishing to end their life should be allowed to do so, and even assisted, is repugnant. He doesn’t like the idea of “paternalism” – that we should protect people from themselves. The fact that his organisation does not seem to differentiate the various reasons that drive people to consider suicide is morally negligent.
Now he wants to legally challenge the right of a healthy person to commit suicide because they see no alternatives to their current situation. People do that a lot, and we have heard of several cases in recent months of people committing suicide as a result of this recession. Luckily they succeeded because, according to Mr. Minelli’s argument for his stance, failed suicides are a heavy burden to the NHS. But assisted suicides in these cases are akin to taking a gun and shooting someone in the head because they don’t want to do it themselves. Wouldn’t that be the same as murder, or manslaughter? Does the fact that someone cannot see a solution to their problems justify assisted suicide?
Patricia Hewitt stated that Mr. Minelli’s comments showed a need for a change in UK laws. How so? You can make changes to the UK law but don’t do it just because of this man’s left-wing stance on such a controversial issue. Unfortunately, just because it may be illegal under British law does not make it illegal elsewhere. People will still go to Switzerland where assisted suicide is legal. Of course, Switzerland has not ruled in favour of assisted suicide for healthy individuals yet. Then, again, they don’t have many rules regarding assisted suicides.