Lecretia has demonstrated ‘a clear and settled intention’ to end her own life. That is the terminology used in a bill to legalise assisted dying that has been tabled by former Chancellor Lord Falconer in the House of Lords. The Falconer Bill would make it lawful for doctors to prescribe a fatal dose of drugs to patients thought to have no more than six months to live and who had demonstrated a “clear and settled intention” to end their lives. Such an intent was demonstrated by two elderly cousins who had to travel to Switzerland, a more humane society than New Zealand, to get the assistance they needed. The Falconer Bill is still progressing through the British legal system, albeit at a slow pace.
Individual choice is the bedrock of a free society. Without it we become prisoners of the state, a state that already interferes far too much in our lives. The euthanasia issue is one of individual rights, like the right to speak ones mind freely, the right to marry the person of ones choice, or the right to worship. By exercising such rights no-one else is harmed and frankly it is no-one else’s business what one does with one’s life.
It is astounding that a dying person should have to spend the last precious weeks of their life fighting for this right. Poll after poll tell the politicians that this is something they want, yet politicians of all parties constantly put the issue on the back burner. Lecretia’s husband makes the point on her website.
The judge will make a decision by Friday as to whether the applicants will be permitted to intervene. I really hope he will agree to keep the scope of the case to my wife’s plea, and leave the wider societal debate on assisted dying to be addressed by politicians, who should be the ones looking at the issue more broadly. Their silence is starting to appear cowardly. Their inaction is precisely why my wife has been forced to spend her precious remaining days pursuing this case through the courts. It’s time for politicians to do their job, so that people like Lecretia don’t have to take these sorts of actions.
To Labour leader (albeit anything but) Andrew Little for quashing Maryan Street’s excellent bill: you cowardly callous bastard.
To Prime Minister John Key for promising in the heat of the moment last year a watered down version of Street’s bill, now totally forgotten: you cowardly callous bastard.
To David Seymour, leader of New Zealand’s supposedly only classical liberal party who’s only reply to me so far is he’s a bit offended at my approach: you cowardly callous egotistical bastard. You of everyone stand for an individual’s rights, David, pull your head out of your arse and do something other than toadying up to big government and sending me newsletters.
Each of you men is happy, yes, happy, that’s the only word I can think of, to leave this crucial issue to souls with no options left, such as Lecretia, consigning them to waste the remaining journey of their lives to pleading for a right which should be theirs – ours - of right. You rotten brutes; seriously, why are any of you even in politics if not for this?!
To politicians fearful of upsetting some of their core supporters I say listen to the people and you won’t go far wrong. And the people say over and over again that the right to die is a question of individual choice and its a choice they want.
It is not your job as politicians to make that choice harder but to extend freedom of choice as far and wide as possible.