Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

People have right to choose life or death

Christina Patterson writes that everyone has the right to kill themselves, but not to be killed (Write Back, June 21).

I also have the right to live. If I was dangling off a cliff and could not pull myself up, I would hope someone would help me, as although I have the right to live, I would need help in this situation to exercise that right.

In the case of suicide, if we acknowledge that every person has to decide whether, or not, their life is worth living, we need to be willing to assist them.

This is an act of charity and respect for their autonomy - not murder. It isn't the case that voluntary euthanasia leads to involuntary. Respecting the freedom of the individual to judge the worth of their own life is a far cry from going around killing everyone we deem to have a worthless life.

READER

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