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People deserve the right to a dignified death

Published 11/09/2015

Today the House of Commons will give a second reading to Rob Marris' Private Member's Bill to legalise assisted dying.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and a number of other faith leaders have written to MPs urging them to oppose the Bill.

They believe that, if passed, it would dehumanise British society for ever. They could not be more wrong.

About one third of us will die in pain. An ageing population means that an increasing number of people will face a long and lingering death, yet the law still refuses us the right to ask a doctor to help us die with some dignity.

The Marris Bill would allow a terminally ill, mentally competent adult judged to have six months or less to live to request life-ending medication from a doctor. That would result in fewer terminally ill people experiencing a painful death.

They will also have peace of mind that the choice of assisted dying is available if the suffering becomes too great in the end.

A Bill that promotes both physical and mental well-being can in no sense be described as dehumanising.

Brian McClinton

Humanist Association of NI

Belfast Telegraph

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