Euthanasia: 'Sooner or later politicians will have to listen', says Dignity in Dying campaigner

Euthanasia: 'Sooner or later politicians will have to listen', says Dignity in Dying campaigner

Numerous drugs are available to help with 'assisted dying'

Friday, June 10, 2016

An activist from the pressure group Dignity in Dying has insisted that public pressure will force politicians to change the law on euthanasia. 

Public support for legalising the 'right to die' has been growing in the UK, and across the world.

This week has seen Star Trek and X-Men actor Sir Patrick Stewart join forces with Dignity in Dying to urge Britain to follow the example of California and change current laws banning 'assisted dying'.  

"I think sooner or later politicians will have to listen to the 82 per cent of people who support changing the laws," Dignity in Dying's Sam Dick told Jonny Gould and Ash.

"We just need to look around the world to see it is possible.

"You can introduce a safe law which respects the wishes of dying people, doctors, and protects the vulnerable at the same time."

Under current legislation, anybody assisting in the death of a terminally-ill person can be prosecuted. If found guilty they could face a lengthy prison sentence. 

"It's still incredibly likely a doctor or healthcare professional would be prosecuted," Dick said. 

"What this means in practice is that terminally-ill people who want to end their pain and suffering in the last weeks and months of their lives are unable to have any sort of conversation with their doctors, who are best placed to offer them advice.

"They're best placed to ensure they're not being coerced, and [to advise on] how to have a safe and pain-free death.

"But they're prevented from having those conversations because they risk 14 years of imprisonment. 

"This means amateur loved ones are put in a horrific position where they feel they need to help, and still feel like criminals for doing so."